“Grande petite” is an exasperating slice of introverted cinema. Directionless tale about a screwed-up young femme who can’t get it together on any level in her life looks set for the B.O. bin. Pic opens in France March 23.
Audience at pic’s Berlin fest preem started out grande but was petite by the time the lights came up.
Benedicte (Judith Godreche) is a reserved 20-year-old living with an older man (Hugues Quester). She still carries a torch for her ex-b.f. Pierre (Philippe Demarle) and can’t shake off the curbside attentions of another former boyfriend , Paul (Emmanuel Salinger).
One day, her life looks poised to be transformed when she stumbles across a bag containing a gun and 500,000 francs. However, as in other areas, indecision rules: She herself can’t decide whom to tell or whether to return the money, and her best friend (Helene Fillieres) and mother (Marie-Christine Questerbert) aren’t any help. The men in her life are equally hopeless. Ending returns the story to ground zero.
In its portrait of a painfully anal, repressed loner, pic often recalls Patricia Bardon’s 1991 “L’Homme imagine” (“The Man of Her Imagination”), though without that film’s strain of black comedy and inventiveness. Godreche is on the money as Benedicte, with good support from Quester, Demarle and Salinger as the men, but debuting director Sophie Fillieres’ script is as boring and uninteresting as her main character.
Photography by Benoit Delhomme is sharp and nicely composed. At least on a tech level, pic is confident throughout.