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Young And Beautiful (#110 of 4)

Film Comment Selects 2015 Julie Lopes-Curval’s High Society

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Film Comment Selects 2015: High Society

Pyramide Productions

Film Comment Selects 2015: High Society

French cinema has the fortunate tendency of representing girls as actual human beings, instead of pretty adornments twirling around a male lead. Alice (Ana Girardot), the girl in High Society, might have been reduced to a supporting-role function of her own working-class life had she not run into Agnès (Aurélia Petit), a well-connected and well-coiffed designer. Agnès helps take Alice out of the hood to develop her creative skills and get into a renowned fashion school. A support that Agnès soon regrets, as the girl ends up falling for Agnès’ son, Antoine (Bastien Bouillon), forcing lower and upper classes to make contact beyond fleeting bursts of philanthropy.

Oscar Prospects The Great Gatsby, Young, Beautiful, and All Dressed Up for Eye-Candy Wins

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Oscar Prospects: The Great Gatsby, Young, Beautiful, and All Dressed Up for Eye-Candy Wins
Oscar Prospects: The Great Gatsby, Young, Beautiful, and All Dressed Up for Eye-Candy Wins

Even more than Foreign Language Film, the category of Original Song is Oscar’s most fickle, rewarding Three 6 Mafia over Dolly Parton one year (2005), crowning a track from a documentary the next (2006), and, just two years ago, screwing over songs from every film save Rio and The Muppets. Last year, Adele’s titular, crossover ballad from Skyfall scored a somewhat sanity-restoring win, becoming the first James Bond theme to ever claim the trophy, and standing as the most popular victor in the field since Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” from 2002’s 8 Mile. While no one will ever be able to explain away the stupidity of 2011’s two-tune lineup, one of the things that makes this category so tricky, particularly in the guessing-game stages, are the many stringent nuances of song eligibility. Does the track start early enough during its movie’s closing credits? Does it have a sliver of previously released material that might taint its “originality?” So layered are these oft-excessive provisos that many Oscar pundits won’t even bother making their predictions until the Academy announces its official list of potential candidates (you’ll notice Original Song is one of the few categories not yet accounted for over at tracker site Gold Derby). But if there’s a single song that stands out with anything close to the in-the-bag ubiquity of Adele’s triumph, it’s Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful,” the wistful love theme from Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.