Suzanne (12)

Directed by Katell Quillevere
Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is an impressive family drama, adroitly directed by young French director Katell Quillevere ('Love Like Poison').

It involves a triple set of characters, a father and his two daughters, covering a period of 25 years of their lives.

The film begins with truck driver Nicloas (Francois Damien), recently widowed, lovingly caring for his two infant offspring, Suzanne (Sara Forestier) and Maria (Adele Haenel).

But in the next scene the two girls are grown up. This leap forward in time occurs regularly throughout the movie, with years passing by quickly between scenes.

The focal point of the production is the almost insane love - you almost know from the outset the affair is destined to end in disaster for both protagonists - of Suzanne, already with a toddler of her own, shown towards a reckless deadbeat, portrayed by Paul Hamy.

Her conception of what mattters in life is swept aside as she abandons her baby, father and big sister to flee her nest.

Inevitably her life turns very sour, ending up in prison, with her dad disbelieving of what she has become - a common criminal.

The only person who keeps faith with her is Maria, (a star performance by Haenel), but her life as well is destined to end in tragedy.

Quillevere brings a deft touch to her creation almost throughout the ninety minutes - some of the intimate scenes between the dad and daughters are very emotionally wrought.

But one minor gripe was the abundance of cutesy shots of the two babies of Suzanne. This bordered on the schmaltzy and detracted from the real essence of the film.

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