Jumbo (2020)

Jumbo
Director: Zoé Wittock
Writer: Zoé Wittock
Cast: Noémie Merlant, Emmanuelle Bercot, Bastien Bouillon, Sam Louwyck, Tracy Dossou
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2020
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Content Note: (critical treatment of) ableism, cripping up (debatable)

Plot:
Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) divides her time between her home where she lives with her mother Margarette (Emmanuelle Bercot), and the amusement park where she works. She loves carousels, ferris wheels and the other attractions in the park and she loves building models of them. This year, the park bought a new ride and Jeanne feels incredibly drawn to it. She nicknames it Jumbo – and Jumbo even starts to communicate with her. Soon their relationship becomes even more intense.

Jumbo is one of the sweetest, most romantic films I’ve seen in a long while (well, together with Dinner in America) and I’m here for this trend of unusual love stories being where the romance lives. Jumbo is well done in any case and hit me right in the feels.

The film poster showing a woman's face in profile, the back of her head a ferris wheel.
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Portrait de la jeune fille en feu [Portrait of a Lady on Fire] (2019)

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu
Director: Céline Sciamma
Writer: Céline Sciamma
Cast: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino
Seen on: 16.12.2019

Plot:
Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is a painter. She gets hired to paint the portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). It’s supposed to be her wedding portrait and Héloïse has so far refused to be painted by all of the (male) painters who came before. So Marianne is under strict orders to not tell Héloïse of her job, but just spend time with her and then paint her from memory. When Marianne arrives, she finds Héloïse a fasinating portrait subject, but even more than that, a fascinating woman.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a beautiful, unusual film telling an epic love story in stunning images. It did take me two attempts to get into it, but once I did, I absolutely loved it.

The film poster showing Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) standing in the dark, the bottom of her long dress on fire.
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