In Agnès Jaoui’s lovely Look at Me, the world is seemingly against 20-year-old Lolita Cassard (newcomer Marilou Berry), a plump would-be singer whose unrequited love for a friend blinds her to the affections of a young man she helps outside a club after he collapses on the sidewalk. Tired of people using her to get close to her father, Etienne (Jean-Pierre Bacri), the self-conscious Lolita understandably mistrusts everyone. The film’s circle of characters includes the girl’s adorable Arab paramour, Sébastien (Keine Bouhiza), her young stepmother Karine (Virginie Desarnauts), and her indecisive singing coach, Sylvia (Jaoui), who becomes increasingly tolerant of Lolita after she learns the identity of her father. Like 2000’s The Taste of Others, this amusing but featherweight confection is co-written by Bacri and Jaoui, who make art out of the physics of everyday dialogue, a talent for which they were rewarded the screenplay prize at Cannes ’04. Some characters, namely Sylvia’s author husband and a long-time friend of Etienne’s who the author seemingly saved from a life of terrorism, scarcely register, but the writers have an uncanny way of coding emotional subtext in the film’s symphony of words and music. A student of Patrice Chereau and Eric Rohmer, a considerate Joui sees the humanity in everyone. If the themes of body consciousness and misdirected desire are lightweight compared to what Denys Arcand grapples with throughout The Barbarian Invasions, Joui’s worldview is infinitely less cynical and abrasive.
- Agnès Jaoui
- Jean-Pierre Bacri , Agnès Jaoui
- Marilou Berry, Agnès Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Laurent Grévill, Virginie Desarnauts, Keine Bouhiza, Grégoire Oestermann, Serge Riaboukine
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