×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Frankie

A top model has a meltdown in "Frankie," the feature debut of French actress-turned-helmer Fabienne Berthaud. Ultra-low-budget digitally shot pic believably renders the bitchy, vacuous world of fashion, as well the institutional atmosphere of insane asylums, but has little of consequence to say about either milieu.

With:
With: Diane Kruger, Jeanick Gravelines, Brigitte Catillon, Christian Wiggert, J. Alexander, Gerald Marie, Jean Louis Place. (French, English, German, Russian dialogue)

A top model has a meltdown in “Frankie,” the feature debut of French actress-turned-helmer Fabienne Berthaud. Ultra-low-budget digitally shot pic believably renders the bitchy, vacuous world of fashion, as well the institutional atmosphere of insane asylums (especially since it was shot in a real one), but has little of consequence to say about either milieu. Helen of “Troy” Diane Kruger turns in a respectable perf in the title role, but is saddled with a bland character who doesn’t elicit much sympathy. Kruger’s name isn’t quite well-known enough to give this so-so looking pic much push into distribution beyond fests.

Frankie (Kruger) is ensconced in a near-catatonic state in a suburban snake pit in Blois, France. Real-life mental patients, babbling nonsensically, play themselves as her fellow inmates. After visit from her fashion-agency boss (Gerald Marie) and the maternal landlady (Brigitte Catillon) of a model’s residence Frankie used to doss at, asynchronous flashbacks reveal how this once-top-paid mannequin lost her marbles.

In her late 20s, German-born, Paris-based Frankie neared the end of her sell-by date. She was no longer as thin as her upcoming rivals, and her skin was ravaged by constant traveling and the gypsy lifestyle a modeling career demands. The camera watches as her nerves start to fray at fashion shoots, particularly one with a demanding, autocratic photographer named Christian (Christian Wiggert).

Frankie’s friendship with the agency’s lanky driver Tom (Jeanick Gravelines) helps, but her breaking point seems to come after an audition with a camp American casting director (J. Alexander) during which Frankie, stick thin by most standards, can’t fit into the required dress.

The improvised-sounding dialogue has a credibly banal, fashion-talk ring to it, but the film explains less about this world than any of the many reality TV programs on the subject. Berthaud tries to amp up arty effects with long, static takes of light-filled rooms, but a so-what feeling sets in by end. Pretty, folk tunes by musical combo CocoRosie add diversion.

Frankie

France

Production: A 7e Apache Film, Fabienne Berthaud presentation, in co-production with Quasar Pictures. (International sales; MK2, Paris.) Produced by Bruno Petit, Fabienne Berthaud. Directed, written by Fabienne Berthaud.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Berthaud, Maud Camille; editor, Raphaele Urtin; music, CocoRosie ; sound, Gerraud Rombelles, Camille. Reviewed on DVD at Locarno Film Festival (Filmmakers of the Present), Aug. 6, 2005. (Also in Edinburgh Film Festival.) Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Diane Kruger, Jeanick Gravelines, Brigitte Catillon, Christian Wiggert, J. Alexander, Gerald Marie, Jean Louis Place. (French, English, German, Russian dialogue)

More Film

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

  • Crown Vic

    Thomas Jane's Police Thriller 'Crown Vic' Sells to Screen Media (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has bought North American rights to writer-director Joel Souza’s police crime-thriller “Crown Vic,” starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank. The distributor closed terms during the Cannes Film Festival amid a competitive bidding situation between seven other suitors. Screen Media plans to release the pic this fall. “Crown Vic” premiered in April at the [...]

  • Colleen Bell

    Colleen Bell Replaces Amy Lemisch as California Film Commission Director

    Veteran entertainment executive and ambassador Colleen Bell will replace Amy Lemisch as director of the California Film Commission. Bell, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, has worked as a consultant since 2017. She was the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at Bell-Phillip Television Productions, including [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content