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Auntie Mame (#110 of 1)

New Directors/New Films 2011: Copacabana

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New Directors/New Films 2011: <em>Copacabana</em>
New Directors/New Films 2011: <em>Copacabana</em>

A frothy fantasy dressed up as a quirky character study, Copacabana is a mishmash of mismatched parts that left me feeling a little queasy. Isabelle Huppert stars as Babou, the kind of boho free spirit who coasts as far as she can on sheer charm and sex appeal. She’s still childlike in middle age, not just because Huppert gives her the wide-eyed, unbroken gaze of a curious toddler, but because she operates on impulse, never stopping to consider the consequences of her actions. As a result, her daughter Esme acts more like her mother, working at a restaurant to pay the rent the job-allergic Babou can’t be relied on to scrape together. But when Esme (Huppert’s real-life daughter, Lolita Chammah) announces that she’s getting married and doesn’t want her mother at the wedding to embarrass her, Babou decides it’s time to get a job and show her daughter that she can be responsible.