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Fat Girl (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Twelve-year-old Anaïs is fat. Her sister, fifteen-year-old Elena, is a beauty. While the girls are on vacation with their parents, Anaïs tags along while Elena explores the dreary seaside town. Elena meets Fernando, an Italian law student; he seduces her with promises of love, and the ever watchful Anaïs bears witness to the corruption of her sister’s innocence. Fat Girl (À ma soeur!) is not only a portrayal of female adolescent sexuality and the complicated bond between siblings but also a shocking assertion by the always controversial Catherine Breillat (Romance, The Last Mistress) that violent oppression exists at the core of male-female relations.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches; 4 Ounces
- Item model number : CRRN2006BR
- Director : Catherine Breillat
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 26 minutes
- Release date : May 3, 2011
- Actors : Anais Reboux, Roxane Mesquida, Libero de Rienzo, Arsinee Khanjian, Romain Goupil
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Criterion Collection
- ASIN : B004NWPY5C
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #52,331 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Teenagers want to be sexually active and get involved with the other sex. The younger one talks out loud about how she would like to be romantically and sexually involved and yet sees all the attention go to her older sister.
Without giving it the rest away, the movie is about a summer vacation the family takes and how both sisters discover their sexuality.
When the two sisters encounter Fernando, an Italian law student on vacation with the parents, Elena is flattered by his attention to her. They quickly initiate a close physical connection as Fernando desires Elena while Elena wishes for love. However, the connection between Elena and Fernando is doomed from the moment they met as he is quick to meet her requests in order to accomplish the mission to conquer her. Anaïs sees through Fernando's charade, but Elena does not want to hear about it as her wishes for love are stronger than her convictions.
It is expected that Elena will be hurt, as the painful journey to come of age continues, but she cannot abandon Fernando as her wisdom does not supersede her inner desire to share the affection of love. In the shadow of Elena's disastrous love affair Anaïs witnesses everything as she shares a room with her older sister. Anaïs's witness to Elena's journey affects her perception of herself and love as her thoughts of herself grow darker and deeper.
Fat Girl is no rosy teenage love comedy, which frequently is released from major production companies. Instead the director Catherine Breillat portrays a dark and hard-hitting coming of age story that strikes the retina with haunting realism and the eardrum with gloomy poetry, which leaves a lasting imprint in the cerebral cortex. The cinematography and mise-en-scene enhance the cinematic experience as they enhances the dark atmosphere which Anaïs is experiencing. The beach scene where Anaïs lays on the sand as the sea water barely reaches her is an unforgettable moment as it illustrates her perception of her existence. Lastly, the final sequences of the film will unexpectedly shake a drained audience as it offers much to reflect upon in Anaïs's perspective.
These extra features include 'Making of Fat Girl'(5:39), Interview w/Catherine Breillat(9:56), 2001 Berlin Film Festival(11:48), and a Theatrical Trailer which includes the French(1:10) and U.S.(1:21) versions of Fat Girl. I enjoyed getting the extra scenes and alternate ending in addition to some behind-the-scenes footage.
Top reviews from other countries
The plot revolves around two sisters, the elder in her teens and pretty, whilst the younger is gauche and a bit overweight. This is their sexual awakening. Without giving too much away, the ending according to Catherine Breillat is based on an actual event but you will have to see it for yourselves.
The key scene in Fat Girl take place after dark in the girl's bedroom. The Italian suitor gets in, and has sex with Elena, while Anais is forced to listen in the next bed. This scene plays out in real time, and mercilessly reveals the craven behaviour of supposedly 'nice' young men who are desperate to have sex. This is the flip side of American Pie and its ilk, and is uncomfortable viewing, especially as Breilliat makes us share Anais's revulsion at it all.
The next day, the girls and their mother return home, but en route there is a very violent incident awaiting them. It may be Anais's embittered fantasy, it may not, but its inclusion is crucial to the good boy/bad boy debate the film is having. This scene is censor cut in the UK version, and there is an apology for this inside the box. By contrast, the US Criterion version is uncut, has superior picture quality, and is well worh picking up.
The preserved BBFC cuts in this version therefore make it more difficult to get at what Breillat is trying to communicate in her film, however perverse and distasteful that might be to some.