Sadness. TIFF is over. We have to wait until next September for the amazing film festival. Even though it was different this year due to the pandemic it still was a great fest. Here is one last review to keep it going a little longer.
My last film watched was the French film Spring Blossom. A remarkable film for a couple of reasons. One is the young woman behind it all. She was the screenwriter, director and lead actress – Suzanne Lindon. This is entirely her doing and vision. Demonstrates herself to be equally able at each of the jobs she takes on here.
Another reason that the Suzanne Lindon show is impressive is her age. She is now only 20-years-old. Wrote the screenplay when she was an amazing 15 years of age and starred and directed when only 16. An amazing accomplishment for anyone, but more so considering her young age.
16-year-old Suzanne (Suzanne Lindon – first film) is filled with ennui, which is not unusual when it comes to teenagers, but hers is of a different variety. She is just bored with the people her own age. What you would call an old soul, I guess. Unimpressed by her peers, so much so that she rarely socializes with them, and bored with her home life and family with every day seeming the same as the previous one.
Despite all this she unexpectedly goes to a party one night and tries to do what is expected of someone her age. The end result is a solidifying of her previous beliefs. Boredom grows. Then a chance encounter happens. She spies an older man on her walk to school. He catches Suzanne’s eye.
Raphael (Arnaud Valois – 120 BPM (Beats per Minute), Selon Charlie) is a 35-year-old actor who drives a scooter. Despite the difference in age the two begin a relationship. Each is looking for a change in their lives and finds it in the other. Though Suzanne is reveling in the new part of her life, she also finds herself questioning whether this is a smart move. Whether plunging into the adult world is wise.
A film like this could only be made by the French. They just have the skill to handle a subject like this with what it requires. Instead of being disturbing and exploitative, Spring Blossom is an engaging inquiry into innocence, a search for something different in life, temptation, and being on the cusp of adulthood. Brings a new angle to an oft looked at coming of age while remaining relatable or universal feeling.
What can be said of what Suzanne Lindon has done here? A first film. Her oh so young age now and while making the film. Again, she wrote it when she was only 15!! A bright future on the horizon for this young filmmaker.