New Girlfriend is technically striking, often conveying narrative visually in brave compositions, and Pascal Marti’s cinematography is as fluid as the characters’ identities. Ozon’s latest is riddled with flashbacks and fantasies, frustratingly reiterating the conceit of In the House with ambiguous scenes that could be either.
There’s an intriguingly complex relationship at the film’s centre, but it’s never satisfactorily dissected. Instead recurring “meaningful” glances weave a tangled web by heavy-handedly provoking speculation that a character is in love with another, and another, and so on.
Whilst flitting erratically between genres, New Girlfriend is just held together by scrupulous lead performances.
Though its respect for the characters and concluding vision of an unconventional family is admirable, The New Girlfriend is most convincing when simply depicting friendship.
CAST: Romain Duris, Anaїs Demoustier, Raphaёl Personnaz, Isild Le Besco
DIRECTOR: François Ozon
WRITERS: François Ozon (screenplay), Ruth Rendell (short story)
SYNOPSIS: Claire (Demoustier) and Laura (Le Besco) have been best friends since childhood, but when Laura suddenly dies Claire makes a surprising discovery about the husband she leaves behind (Duris).
A preview screening of The New Girlfriend was kindly provided by Metrodome and Substance Global.