Rising star Erin Kelly (Waking Madison) is Annabelle, a precocious Senator's daughter who falls for her Catholic school teacher, Simone (Diane Gaidry, The Dogwalker).
After Simone is assigned to control the rebellious student, she instead finds herself drawn into Annabelle's world. As their attraction builds, the two women must cope with the reactions of those around them. Writer-Director Katherine Brooks unveils this smoldering tale of forbidden love with intelligence, wit and sensitivity.
A lot of taboos are broken in Loving Annabelle
, even if the film itself remains remarkably tasteful--even demure. The central characters are two women, a teacher and her student, and the setting is an all-girls school (shades of Lost and Delirious
). Annabelle (the smoldering Erin Kelly), a senior, is a rebellious rocker chick--the Beverly Hills version that is, i.e. highlighted hair, black eyeliner, and nose ring. Her senatorial mother ships her off to boarding school to shape up. Annabelle's hard-partying ways are starting to become an embarrassment. Miss Simone Bradley (the sympathetic Diane Gaidry) is a popular poetry teacher. She's a Catholic. Annabelle is not. Simone has a boyfriend, Annabelle is gay. Looks can be deceiving, however, and there's more to both than meets the eye. For one, Simone's relationship is not as secure as it appears. For another, Annabelle's ardor is so relentless it threatens to sway sympathy against her. She seems to have no regard for the damage an affair would inflict on her teacher's career. Nonetheless, Simone is not entirely resistant to her charms. Inspired by 1931's Mädchen in Uniform
, writer/director Katherine Brooks preserves the forbidden relationship at the heart of the Weimar-era classic, but drops the political subtext. Consequently, she doesn't take on more than she can handle, but Loving Annabelle
still feels a little slight. --Kathleen C. Fennessy