Spring Blossom (Seize printemps) (PG)

Spring Blossom (Seize printemps) (PG)

Director: Suzanne Lindon

Runtime: 73 minutes

Cast: Suzanne Lindon,Arnaud Valois,  Frédéric Pierrot, Florence Viala, Rebecca Marder

Synopsis: Suzanne is 16. She is bored with people of her own age. Each day on her way to school she passes a theatre. There she meets an older man and becomes obsessed with him.  Despite the difference in age they find in each other an answer to their ennui and fall in love.  But Suzanne is afraid that she is missing out on life – the life of a sixteen year old – which she had struggled so much to enjoy in the same way as her peers.

URL: https://youtu.be/tLGAnjNLpV4

Youthful newcomer Suzanne Lindon’s sparkling debut – which she wrote, directed and starred in when she was 20 – is a refreshing Spring delight which gracefully steers clear of cliché and offers more than a few surprises.

Suzanne (Lindon) is bored. She feels out of touch with her friends and classmates. Such ennui falls away when she encounters thirty-something actor Raphaël. He’s appearing at a theatre on her route between school and home, and their regular encounters see them finding common ground in each other. If the set-up sounds familiar, Lindon spices her film with more than enough surprises.

Suzanne’s curiosity gradually turns to infatuation in a tale of first love that unfolds among the streets and cafes of a dreamy, sun-kissed Montmartre. Lindon evokes the worlds of Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, and musical and choreographed sequences in particular are reminiscent of the everyday life song-and-dance routines of Jacques Demy’s beloved The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

The daughter of actors Sandrine Kiberlain and Vincent Lindon, Lindon emerges as a force to be reckoned with in her own right. Revisiting elements of her life, she stars as a gawky, awkward teenager who never seems to quite fit in with her classmates. She doesn’t share their tastes or their plans. She only has eyes for dashing thirty-something actor Raphael [Arnaud Valois – BPM Beats Per Minute (2017)] who works at the theatre she passes each day.

Suzanne has an apparently charmed, affluent Parisian family life, complete with loving parents (Florence Viala and Frédéric Pierrot), but who is bored b and detached from her peers. Instead, she’s drawn to this older actor she regularly spots outside a Montmartre theatre – a brooding and husky type, whose creative frustration have left him with a similar ennui.

Soon they are meeting for breakfasts, drinking the same grenadine and lemonade and listening to a choral Vivaldi track, which causes both of them to slowly dance in almost-perfectly synchronised choreography, hypnotically performed.

Lindon proves herself a dazzling new screen talent in a charmer of a film. As the sun shines and the heart is full of possibilities, it sets the mood for a Spring in which we all look towards brighter days.

It promises much from this new filmmaker that Spring Blossom avoids genre cliches, retains a certain innocence to what we see and avoids uncomfortable romantic scenes and feels, unsurprisingly given that its female director is also its star, totally non exploitative.

The UK premiere of Suzanne Lindon’s dreamy, remarkably assured directorial debut was the conclusion to the 2021 online Glasgow Film Festival

Streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Images courtesy of Glasgow Film Festival/LUXBOX