|Ma Vie en rose
MA VIE EN ROSE has lessons to teach. A brilliant first film from
Belgian director Alain Berliner, it resists being summed up in pithy
fashion. The hook is that the central character is a pre-teen boy who
believes he is a girl trapped in a male body. This is a film that only
a European director could make as American film studios never
would allow a director the freedom to explore a child's sexuality in
the intense yet comical way Berliner does.
Ludovic matter-of-factly deals with his feelings, cross-dressing,
claiming to want to marry a schoolmate when they grow up. (Jerome,
the object of his affection who does not seem to object to the plan,
is the only son of his father's boss causes complications for the family.)
Berliner examines the effect of the boy's openness on his own family
(his doting mother gradually turns on her son) and the community at
large. While it can be argued that many of the supporting roles border
on bigoted stereotypes, that is partly the point as the filmmakers want
us to question our own reactions to the subject matter.
Berliner has created a lovely, visually interesting film. He allows
the audience to enter into Ludovic's fantasy world--a pretty, pink-filled
one inspired by children's television show built around a Barbie-like
figure. What anchors the film is the extraordinary performance from
Georges du Fresne. This son of actors possesses angular, androgynous
features and a superb, almost preternatural sense of emotional timing.
(Berliner has attributed the young thespian's success in the role to his
having a twin sister.) He delivers a charming and direct portrayal to which
all the other characters must react.
|© 2005 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.