Last Summer

Last Summer

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In Last Summer Léa Drucker is a fashionable woman who lives in France, her house having been built in the far suburbs of Paris and she has a taste for neutral colors that are always adequately blended. As such there seems to be no way to get into it from the outside.

She doesn’t know that Anne is a character in one of Catherine Breillat’s films, therefore she –as well as us- should expect the unexpected. The Frenchwoman who pushes buttons is back with her first feature film since the early 2000s, and at nearly 76 years old, she remains as curious and clear-eyed as ever when it comes to women’s sexuality. We do not judge how Anne handles her illicit affair; whether we approve of her or otherwise; she is doomed anyway. Last Summer That morning at the beach was technically intimate but tonally detached – languid like a summer day, sometimes unbearably so and often uncomfortably warm.

Anne starts off by being firm with others though. She is an attorney who represents teens that have fallen victims to sexual assault among other kids in trouble; this job matter to her life too. Kind but direct while interviewing another girl about what they would probably ask her if ever taken before a judge or jury on rape allegations etc.. Efficient and competent yet extremely stylish although starting from scratch but there’s something special about Drucker’s introduction of her character.

However, this image begins to weaken after Pierre (Olivier Rabourdin),Anne’s rich older husband reveals his teenage son from his previous marriage has messed up once again.He tells Anne that his seventeen-year-old boy will come live with them for some time.And so they already have adopted little girls who bring youth into the house.Bringing him home is not wanted at all.

Last Summer Immediately Théo appears (often shirtless) and it takes just seconds for tension between him and Anne to build. With shaggy hair and gangling limbs, Samuel Kircher easily qualifies as an emblem of teen rebellion. Yet we also see him act foolishly towards his younger sisters who adore him. Eventually, this unlikely conspiracy produces clandestine scooter rides and afternoon cocktails that turn into more when Pierre conveniently goes out of town on business. Breillat sticks with long shots zooming in on Anne and Théo as they smoke cigarettes and drink wine in the backyard. They start to look too comfortable around each other body language wise while drinking and smoking outside in what seems like one of those really long days where all you do is nothing but drink lots of wine.

This happens every time Anne and Théo finally yield to the passion that they have. The way things ended, it is nothing but viable. This time Bréillat takes a simple uncut shot of those memorable scenes that is left long after the act is over, allowing us to read the expression on Anne’s face afterwards. It was bad sex, but definitely a different person at the end.

Last Summer is actually an adaptation of Danish movie Queen of Hearts (2019) but Breillat manages to make it her own in her usual resolute style. Once this incest-adjacent affair approaches revelation, everything changes; the slow build-up in terms of whether or not they will get caught gives way to fear for what might happen next. Nonetheless, Bréillat maintains an indifferent tone throughout leaving Drucker’s brilliant interpretation to fill in the gaps by itself. We see as she flawlessly shifts from displaying her caged animal defences into being one herself that uses gaslighting against her accusers. It would be clear that Anne acts despite practicing such kind of laws while Breillat does not have any need for explaining all these matters further through speech. On the other hand, we witness Anne utilizing all those clever interrogation methods to outsmart any challenger who tries facing her head-on.

Paradoxically enough, you might even find yourself wishing for her success–yet you become embarrassed by your desires to see her succeed completely . That’s what makes Catherine Breillat films so convolutedly magical.

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