The New Girlfriend

The 2015 Seattle International Film Festival welcomed this award-winning (Cesar Awards, 2015 for Actor, and Costume Design; San Sebastian Award, San Sebastian Film Festival) entry from France (English captions). Many of our members are familiar with writer/director François Ozon's work ("8 Women" and "Swimming Pool").

The film begins with a brief, wonderfully cast montage which provides the back story about a pair of inseparable friends who grew up together and were in each others lives up to and including marriage, childbirth and one's untimely death. The other, a grief-stricken young woman, learns something unexpected about her best friend's widower. "Une nouvelle amie" (English captions) takes us into a gender-blending drama which combines sexual tension with the devastating effects of losing a long-time friend.

The cast:
  • Romain Duris ("Mood Indigo") is David, a grieving young father. He has a secret (he says he was born in a cauliflower) and Claire can help him with it.
  • Anaïs Demoustier ("Caprice") is Claire. She can't help but intrude into his life because she had promised her dying friend she would be there for him and his baby girl.
  • Raphaël Personnaz ("Anna Karenina") Claire's husband Gilles has his own agenda: he wants a promotion at work and is ready to be a father at home.
I've liked Romain Duris ever since "The Beat That My Heart Skipped," so it's no surprise that he pulls off this challenging role with such aplomb. Although some of the screening audience had a problem with the French approach to on-screen sex, I liked this one very much.