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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 08.06.13] France drama

French director Francois Ozon caused quite a stir at this year's Cannes Film Festival with the release of his new feature Young & Beautiful. Ozon isn't one to stick to one genre or style and he followed up last year's excellent thriller In the House (review) with a drama about the sexual awakening of a teenage girl; a subject that always gets attention regardless of the rest of the story but even more scandalous when the film, also written by Ozon, includes teenage prostitution.

Marine Vacth stars as Isabelle, a 17 year girl from a well to do family who chooses to explore her sexuality by selling herself for money. The very concept is eyebrow raising and I admit there's an icky feeling knowing that a man wrote this story of a young woman choosing prostitution; it reads like a ridiculous male fantasy, but the first trailer for Ozon's movie suggests excellent performances from Vacth and I'm a little curious to see how Ozon handles the drama between Isabelle and her parents when they discover what their daughter is up to. Does Ozon manage to keep a level headed emotional story afloat or does this turn into a creepy sexual fantasy scenario? It remains to be seen.

Young & Beautiful opens in limited European markets on August 21 while North Americans can likely expect to see Ozon's newest offering in the festival circuits.

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