Douches froides (Cold Showers) (2006)
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[font=Century Gothic]In "Cold Showers," despite living in a chaotic household with an alcoholic father(Jean-Philippe Ecoffey) and a mother(Florence Thomassin) who rations out the electricity, Mickael(Johan Libereau) is doing well in high school where he is dating Vanessa(Salome Stevenin) and is the captain of the judo team. He is also asked by Louis Steiner(Aurelien Recoing), a local businessman, to train with his son Clement(Pierre Perrier). Better yet, after a win, the team moves onto the European Championship and Steiner offers to sponsor the team but one of the wrestlers is injured in a bit of horseplay. To replace him, Mickael vounteers to lose the 8 kilograms necessary to get down to his weight...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Cold Showers" is a sensitive and thoughtful, yet provocative movie about teen sexuality.(Since this is the subject, I will not object to so many scenes being set in the locker rooms.) Even though these characters have the physical maturity to engage in sex, they do not have the emotional maturity to cope with the repercussions. Also on the physical side, Mickael is confident that he can lose enough weight in time without anything going wrong.[/font]
Highly complex; a true representation of real life and how quickly roles can be reversed. The characters are rich, even the minor ones. And there is an impending sense of foreboding throughout that keeps the story taut.
A highly sensual, erotic and emotionally charged movie that is somewhat let down by a weak ending. The tension leading up to the inevitable 'climax' is palpable, while the scene itself is well handled and highly justifiable. The actors do a great job, never over acting, keeping things grounded in a sense of reality. The problem comes with the ending, and its lack of explanation of the development. Yes ok its French cinema, and one can expect to be less convenitionally spoon fed than with Hollywood, but still while we understand Mickael's detachment and the isolation he ultimately feels - it seems underdeveloped and almost out of the blue from what had gone on before. Ultimately though, the films successes are greater than its failures, and its worth seeking out this quiet, subtle portrayal of teenage relationships.
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