Miss Chazelles

Everything that has been happening over the last five months or so has pounded home the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” This is perfectly illustrated, along with other things, in director Thomas Vernay’s Miss Chazelles. The short film goes a long way towards showing how things are not always as they seem.

On the surface it would seem that Clara (Megan Northam) and Marie (Alice Mozodier – Mondo) hate each other. As an observer you base that on the fact that they are competing against each other for the Miss Chazelles title. That Marie wins and Clara comes in first runner up. Clara’s friends have taken to Twitter to show their dislike of Marie. Marie’s cousins hurl insults and middle fingers at Clara and her friends. It all just stacks up.

Life in the small rural French village of Chazelles-sur-Lyon seems to at the moment revolve around the beauty pageant. Things are seriously competitive. Instead of making fun of the whole thing as you might suspect, the teenagers here are very into it. Stakes are high. Lines are drawn.

Despite glaring at each other in a bathroom mirror at the celebration dance after the pageant, it seems like something is going on between Clara and Marie. What it is will have to be kept a secret or there will be a price to pay…for both young women.

As someone who is not interested and kinda against beauty pageants, left to my own devices I would never have selected a film like this to watch. Well, this is another example of not judging something you have not seen yet. I ended up really liking this short. It went in directions I was not expecting.

The beginning was a bit slow and heavy handed at times. But the last 10 minutes or so was highly watchable. Often the downside of a a good short film is time. Everything has to be done quickly. With Vernay’s film it ends just as it was kicking into high gear. I was left wanting more. Wanting to know what would happen after the morning after. Definitely material here for a feature length film.

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