Screening Room: ‘The New Girlfriend’

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In Francois Ozon’s The New Girlfriend, after a woman’s childhood friend dies, she discovers that her friend’s husband has a secret. Complications of a romantic and gender-blurring nature ensue.

My review of The New Girlfriend, which opens this week in limited release, at PopMatters:

There is a sharp, sublime Almodóvar film trapped inside the blurry outlines of François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend (Une nouvelle amie), as if aching to get out. You can see this in The New Girlfriend‘s sly opening, with its finely sculpted woman being dressed seemingly for a wedding before the gag is revealed, and in the moments of interlaced satire and desire in later sections. But Ozon’s highly polished surface allows for none of the Spanish filmmaker’s lurking wit or malevolence. Though Ozon’s penchant for putting pretty people in mildly baffling situations makes it hard to take his work straight, so to speak, this is the course with which you’re left in this ultimately confused film…

Here’s the trailer:

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