Love Like Poison (Empire review)

lovelikepoisonsquareTaking its French title from a Serge Gainsbourg song, the feature debut of Abidjan-born director Quillévéré is a beguiling, coming-of-age drama about a 14-year-old girl, Anna (Augarde), whose impending confirmation ceremony coincides with her parents’ separation, and an equally personal conflict between her Catholic faith and burgeoning sexuality. Setting up more subplots than it is possible to fully develop within the slender running time, Un Poison Violent sometimes feels like the pilot for a new television series, albeit one rather lacking in externalized drama. Nevertheless, it is beautifully made and superlatively performed – especially by newcomer Augarde, the serendipitous discovery of an open casting call – and exquisitely captures a critical, but fleeting, moment in adolescence.

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