Elodie Bouchez and Natacha Regnier both won "Best Actress" honors at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival in this naturalistic drama about two women alienated from mainstream society. After a trio of short films, this is the feature directorial debut of 41-year-old French filmmaker Erick Zonca. With opening scenes reminiscent of Agnes Varda's Vagabond (1985), optimistic hobo Isa (Bouchez), with her life in her backpack, has a gritty existence on the road, going from one town to another through northern France, working factory jobs and selling cards. After she loses a garment-factory job, her withdrawn, near-catatonic co-worker Marie (Regnier) lets Isa share space in her Lille living quarters -- an apartment actually belonging to a hospitalized mother and daughter. Marie begins an affair with burly bouncer Charly (Patrick Mercado) before achieving an emotional breakthrough with sleazy, animalistic club-owner Chriss (Gregoire Colin). Meanwhile, Isa becomes fascinated with the girl who lived in the apartment but now lies in a coma at the hospital. The film combines handheld camerawork with a minimalist music score (Yann Thiersen) and documentary-like street sounds.
- MPAA Rating: R
- Genre(s): Drama
- Run Time: 113min.
- Theatrical Release Date: 03/19/1999
- DVD Release Date: 08/24/1999
- Distributor(s): Sony Pictures Classics
- Themes: Down on Their Luck,Self-Destructive Romance,Women's Friendship
- Tone: Compassionate,Downbeat,Drab,Gritty,Talky,Understated
drill-instructor, friendship, girl, letters [alphabet], sexual-awakening, unemployment, urban-problems
- Country of Origin: France (09-16-1998),USA (04-02-1999)
- Language: French