Fat Girl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fat Girl Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 1, 2009
I didnīt know Catherine Breillatīs work, so it was quiet a good surprise. The movie is very realistic and it shows perfectly the sisters relationship (love and hate) and the excitement, fear and all feelings around the first sexual experience.

I donīt think the end is supposed to shock. From the first scene we know that something is going to happen, even tending to think that Anaïs is going to do something against Elena. When they are driving home and later, in the car, after Elena comes back from the bathroom, it gets obvious. Experimenting her sexuality through her sisterīs, when Anaïs says Elena to not think about Fernando and sleep it seems that sheīs saying: just sleep, now itīs my turn. She doesnīt try to escape from the murder, she barely tries to resist; she knows that itīs something inevitable as much as it is to a guy falling in love or be attracted to her sister. She doesnīt seem shocked or sad with her mother and sisterīs death, but satisfied for knowing how itīs to be desirable - wrongly thinking, of course - and free (or something alike) of the heavily presence (and beauty) of Elena.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2007
I have mixed feelings on this storyline, firstly it articulates the feelings of these two very young girls in a realistic sense, I?m sure many ladies out there watching this film will relate to this with nostalgia and can draw an understanding of the circumstances.

Secondly though, it was no doubt controversial and an uncomfortable watch in parts, especially with the nudity, I guess, the disturbing feel is what you are supposed to feel with this storyline, of course you can see it?s purpose yet almost wish it wasn?t necessary.

It cleverly unravelled the manipulation from the male, which is targeted, obviously to the girl because of her age.

Finally the ending, which was totally unexpected, sums up the whole theme of the film and the different view points in which the girls have about their first sexual experience and does not logically make sense, but, I guess the beauty of this film is that, it is illogical and told through the eyes of the innocent.
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2009
This is a film that could not have been made in Hollywood. The social restraints (not to mention the legal ones) would not have permitted it, at least not in its present form. Fat Girl is quite frank and matter-of-fact in the depiction of adolescents in sexual situations. This adds to the impact of the picture but undoubtedly limits its accessibility to American audiences. Its not mainstream cinema, it was never intended to be, but I, for one, found its honesty refreshing.

...plus, if the ending doesn't give you one of those jaw-dropping, did-I-just-see-what-I-thought-I-saw moments then you're not paying attention.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
November 26, 2008
this is a startlingly frank feminist film about the way society judges women and the way we internalize that as girls. the sisters' relationship seemed really natural and even sweet at times and there are funny moments but i must say...this made me as uncomfortable as anything i've seen since todd solondz's happiness. the ending is so disturbing that my mind recoiled. alot of people won't like this film but it has a definite point to make and i think it did that powerfully. i'm interested in seeing more of breillat's work
deano
Super Reviewer
January 19, 2008
This French story of two sisters (one is gorgeous and sexy and one is fatty) through their summer holiday who are going to try to loss their virginity, is really strange and weird.
Super Reviewer
October 4, 2008
A disturbing film about adolescent and pre-adolescent sexuality. Provokes a certain amount of self-examination. In which of the characters do you see yourself? The worldly wise younger sister who does not fit the ideal of desirability, yet longs to be desired? The older sister, longing for experience and yet fearing it? The Lothario eager to seduce the virgin and taking full advantage of her ambivalence? The father who cares more about his business than the health of his family? Or the mother who is so cold, she would rather punish her daughter for having sex than for helping her deal with the devastating aftermath? The ending caught me by surprise. I kept waiting for Anais to wake up from the nightmare. That she didn't made the movie much less easy to dismiss.
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2010
Those in Ontario will recall that this movie was subject to the condemnation of censors due to shots of underage boobie. Director Breillat used a large black box in order to call attention to the fact that others were making decisions on what you could or could not see. In fact, what the censors may have been protecting the audience from was a good film completely derailed by a ridiculous and unnecessary ending. A director gone wild for sure.
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2011
A strong and bold look at female sexuality during adolescence and also a coming of age story between two sisters. The story revolves around a gorgeous 15 year old sister and her fat 12 year old younger sister. Graphic it's in sexuality and brutally honest, the story is quite realistic and because of this connects deeply with the audience. A rather shocking and graphic ending is a fitting conclusion for such a hard hitting drama and disturbing film. Another hard watch, but a rather great film that's honest and filmed with passion. You can see the passion in Director Catherine Breillat during the interviews that Criterion has provided in their Supplementary Features on the disc. The film has amazing cinematography and is brilliantly filmed, Recommended!
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2011
Adolescent sexuality. It's a theme too sensitive and downright naive to really expose in such a raw, disturbing and depressing light. Yet that's actually what director Catherine Breillat has done in "Fat Girl": A thorough exploration of early sexual awakening, abstract sibling relationships and artificial promiscuity that ultimately leads into disintegration.

I really think that with a more light-handed filmmaker, the theme could have been made and executed as a bittersweet tale of gullible love seen through the eyes of a fertile and curious girl. But given that a sensible approach to the issues tackled by the film is much more preferable, "Fat Girl" neglected all of these and instead hovered around its characters with detached apathy. And putting an ambiguous, fantasizing, ennui-stricken female character in its center both as an observant and observed does not just complicate the matter, it also puts the film into a critical extremity.

Call it depressing, call it exploitative, but by all means, "Fat Girl" delivered what it has intended to, and also puts into exposition and emphasis those that should have been otherwise. And just like Gaspar Noe's works, the film has displayed uncommon bravery.

The film is chiefly about the relationship between 15-year-old Elena (Roxane Mesquida) and her sister Anais (Anais Reboux in a very daring performance). The opening scene, after we heard Anais' haunting song and saw her dead set stare, we are introduced to the relational condition of the siblings. We hear the words 'fat slob' and 'loose morals' hurled at each other devoid of any verbal emotions. They walk shoulder to shoulder through the woods and into the streets but they're of the opposite looks and mindsets.

Anais, an overweight girl, states that first-time sex should be with anybody, while Elena, a beautiful 'Lolita-like' teenager, suggests the generalized importance and pleasures of 'sleeping' around with many. It's a conversation captured with such normality and spontaneity that it makes it more disquieting.

How did such girls at a tender age know too much and very opinionated about things they shouldn't be hearing about in the first place? Catherine Breillat brings us into an alternate reality of France where it's not all about the elegance of love and romance, but a washed-out place (both in color and moral fiber) where the idea of sex is messy and sudden while the concept of virginity is not about its preservation but to whom it must be lost and why.

"Fat Girl" also delves into sexuality to which physical carnality is endlessly fantasized while the context of true love contained within it is superficial at best. As I hear the narcissistic Fernando's (Libero De Rienzo) promises to Elena as he fondles her virginal body, it sickens me. Through that specific sequence, Breillat also gives out a statement about how sweetened, unfulfilled pledges is an easy way 'in' into cheap romances and also the easiest way out.

Yet the essence of the sisters' relationship does not start and end on sexual commentaries. We are also compelled to notice the sisters' 'love-hate' connection. One sequence, we see them throw dry insults at each other as if they have a scorned relational void rotten by time. But in the next, they suddenly hug each other. Insult, hate, laugh, laugh, hate, insult.

It's their cycle, but is there an absolute? What is the true weather of their bond? "Fat Girl" presented it with such disfigured profundity (highlighted by how Elena and Anais recalled their childhood and how they compare themselves in front of a mirror) that it seems futile to look deep enough and as if both of them locked up the answers and covered it up with their one-bit fantasies.

Graphic and at times, emotionally disorienting, this is the antithesis to shallow teenage films talking about 'cute guys' and 'first dates', "Fat Girl" rests upon a dark truth within adolescent existence; 'truth' which do not just come like a gentle revelation, but one bent on shattering the windshields of escapism to present us with certain uncomfortable notions, but those that are ultimately in touch with reality.

The film is widely known to have a very 'controversial' and 'shocking' ending. I do not like hype, but "Fat Girl's" final sequence lives up to its notoriety. Quite ironic considering that it's about victory.
divinetrash
Super Reviewer
½ May 3, 2011
Both Anais Rebous, as the titular fat girl, and Roxane Mesquida, as her beautiful sister, give amazing performances; they may not resemble one another, but they have a bonding that is very true to real life, where good and bad feelings towards each other, especially siblings, are often hard to tell apart.
The film has a very honest way of looking at relationships at such a vulnerable age, but I still personally couldn't help feel a little distant from the characters.
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2008
I am really happy that Oscar recommended this little film to me a while ago, even though he ended up disliking it (whatever, I've always had the best taste in cinema anyways, hahaha).

Intense, insightful, painful, raw, and truthful.

I was hooked the second the film started playing. Filled with so much young talent and an innocence coupled with honesty that almost made me blush.
I still cannot fathom the idea that this film was banned by certain cinemas back when it was released. Seriously now, if individuals refrain themselves from seeing a film based on excessive usage of adolescent nudity and controversial issues, then they are just SO missing out on rare gems like this one. So will it be 1953 or 2010? Ridiculous!

See this now if you haven't done so already. You will love me for recommending it.
Jossepi
Super Reviewer
½ May 4, 2009
Incredibly dark dram that you'll never forget and will never want to watch again. This is indeed one of the greatest film ever made. It's really hard to rate this film due its morality. However, it would be cruel to not give this film the stars it truly deserves.The way it slap the dark reality unto viewer's faces that leaves us speechless. Yet, there are no escape because of obvious elements in the film. "That's sick."
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2007
Really has a fucked up ending but I liked most of it. Sad, either way.
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2007
A little bit of a sibling rivalry theme. Male characters are not very likable. The end seemed to be tacked on though.
February 28, 2016
A quietly searing portrayal of being an overweight adolescent in both the shadow and sunshine of another and their emerging sexuality. Unwavering from beginning to end. Fans of Todd Solondz's will find themselves right at home.
½ December 23, 2012
I was intrigued when I first heard about this movie thinking it was about the struggle of an overweight girl who is desperate for love but doesn't receive it. However, as I watched the movie I didn't really get out of it what I thought I would. I felt it was more about the sister's life and less about Anais'. I especially despised the car ride home at the end. It dragged on for far too long. I HATED the ending. It was not at all related to the movie. If it was trying to symbolize something I didn't get it. Even the things I can think of it represented seem trivial. All in all, I was disappointed.
September 22, 2012
harsh and unsettling, also riveting and beautiful. Fat girl is a must see for people with the time, heart, and eyes to watch this disturbing tale of an overweight girl trying to be like her prettier sister.
April 2, 2012
Was Netflix scared off by the "puritan" viewers? Because this movie like never existed it its humongous database. And that's a relatively well-known, critically acclaimed movie for goodness sake ! Blockbuster, Hulu Plus & Amazon instant video carries it, Netflix does not ! Not even as an option to save it, so my rating of it (4 out of 5) would factor in further recommendations.

I have a hunch, that many of the "puritans" blaming this movie for "indecency" watch a lot of bad porn with no redeeming value as "art" every day. Common! We're in the age of the Internet, and the most explicit sex imaginable is available at the click of the mouse, and many are still obsessing over some brief & artistically necessary nudity in cinema ?! Ridiculous!
½ January 15, 2012
This was a good movie about adolescence. It covered siblings, sex, and "strom and stress". The only bad thing was the last 5 minutes or so. I did not like how it ended.
½ December 17, 2011
While Catherine Breillat has a feminist point of view she doesn't let women off the hook either. The parents of the two sisters will come across as cliche to some but they represent societies views on teenage sex so well that it is totally necessary. The long scene of the boyfriend trying to coax his girlfriend into having sex is a brutal watch. Not necessarily for the image you see but more because i actually felt like the guy in that bed, very gross feeling. Performances down the line are fantastic. Anais Reboux and Roxane Mesquida are brilliant playing the sisters, there complicated relationship is bizarre but endlessly fascinating.
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