Film #155: Breathe (2014)

respireaka: Respire
Director: Mélanie Laurent
Language: French plus some English, Spanish, Italian
Length: 91 minutes
Watched on: 14 July 2015 (2 of 4 on my flight back to Japan)

Having just had my fill of classic French cinema with The 400 Blows, I turned next to something a bit more modern. I picked Respire, or “Breathe”, based on the description that screamed “lesbian” to me – it’s been an unfortunately long time since I’ve delved into the world of Sapphic love onscreen.

The film’s synopsis is that a girl meets a new girl at school – she’s obviously instantly enraptured by her, and the two spend all their time together. The film takes a bit of a turn for the worse when the new girl bores of her.

Unfortunately, the film didn’t capture my attention for much of it. A few months later (I really need to start setting myself deadlines for these reviews!), and most of the finer details escape me. I’m pretty sure the lesbian aspects of it were relegated to heavily implied subtext, or were completely one-sided infatuation on the main character’s part. I liked the acting, though. I reckon there’s something worthwhile in this film, but perhaps if it could have a faster pace that would be better for me.

It also reminded me of another lesbian movie with a disturbing or fucked-up ending that I saw a few years ago – that one’s title escapes me, but the ending of this one was certainly much more disturbing or shocking. It doesn’t bode well for lesbian cinema when two of the examples I can come up with having seen are those two, basically. Does anyone have any better suggestions?


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