À tout de suite (Right
Benoît Jacquot, 2004; 96m
In part an homage to the French New Wave as well as "gangster and girl on the run" pictures like Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde, Benoit Jacquot's A tout de suite (Right Now) is a period piece that, despite the fact that it's based on a true story "lived" by Elisabeth Fanger in 1975, could really take place in almost any era. Strongly acted, directed and shot, À tout de suite is sure to be one of the highlights of this year's Rendez-Vous With French Cinema which kicks off Today in New York (more info below).
The nameless 19 year-old heroine (referred to as Lili in press notes, but not in the film), winsomely played by French ingénue Isild Le Besco, maintains a bourgeois lifestyle, going to art school and living with her father and older sister. Her main act of rebellion is in sneaking her friend into her apartment each night and out again each morning.
She indulges in all the typical teenage rebellious behavior, including skipping class, accepting drinks from strangers and doing things she knows will piss off her father and (of course) much more serious older sister. It is during one of these episodes that Lili meets Bada, a handsome young French-Maroccan (Rape Me's Ouassini Embarek) with whom she begins a relationship. The two seem equally lost and melancholy in the world that is Paris following the national unrest of the summer of 1968, and in this milieu it seems a perfectly normal state of affairs in which a middle-class student and a young man with a nebulous "occupation" and tendency to pay for things only in cash might live. When Bada suddenly calls Lili one night and announces that he and some friends have just robbed a bank which resulted in the death of a clerk and one of the robbers, she doesn't bat an eye before caching him and his fellow bandit in her apartment for a night and then joining them on the lam the next morning.