Look At Me ~ (France, 2004) ~ DVD

Look at Me is an aurally exquisite film in the French mode. Agnès Jaoui, who plays Sylvia, a voice teacher and wife of a struggling writer, also co-wrote (a winner at Cannes, 2004) and directed the film. She’s made a film of weak people and strong characters.

Lolita is the daughter of a rather famous writer and publisher, who’s on his second marriage. And Lolita just wants her father’s recognition, but he’s too self-centered to give it. As he continually refers to her as “my big girl”, one wonders if he’s clueless, or just cannot resist the jabs. Her weight contributes to her low self esteem, and suspects that people just want to cozy up to her because her father is famous. Thing is, she plays that card herself a time or two. She’s not all wrong there. Coached in her singing by Jaoui’s Sylvia (who takes more of an interest in her when she learns who her father is) Lolita really does seem to have talent. But in this world, too often physical appearance trumps talent, a fact that Lolita seems unable to overcome.

The soundtrack is just wonderful, and it’s one of those films that displays the joy of making music together in the very best light. The film could very well have been called “listen to me” for all the failed attempts to get direct communication going. This is french-light fare, but with a kind heart and an insightful mind.

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