Strong Shoulders (2003)
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Sabine (Louise Szpindel) is a high-school athlete. "I live to run," she tells her friends, and it appears to be true. She's maniacally devoted to running track, despite the benign disinterest of her mother (Anne Coesens). Training for a big meet, Sabine is determined, not just to run fast, but to be the fastest runner in the world. She resents the fact that her coach, Gelewski (Jean-François Stévenin of The Man on the Train), concerned about her development as an athlete, doesn't want her to run on the weekends. She's also argues with Gelewski because he won't let her run in the 400 meters, or train with the boys, which she thinks would get her to run faster. She's annoyed but intrigued when she learns that Rudi (Guillaume Gouix), a new boy at school, is the fastest in her class. Sabine, eager to study his form, gets her best friend, Fatia (Dora Jemaa), to surreptitiously videotape Rudi running, so she can study the tape. At one point, Sabine, Fatia, and a shy pole-vaulter, Dani (Nina Meurisse), travel to a track meet, where they see world-class track star Marion Jones and others. In her single-minded devotion to honing her body and being the best at any cost, Sabine begins to alienate those around her, including Fatia, Rudi, and her coach. Strong Shoulders was written and directed by Swiss filmmaker Ursula Meier. It was shown by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center at New Directors/New Films in 2004. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Strong Shoulders
Unlike an American, this Swiss girl is worried that her breasts are too big and her thighs are too small. And as for boys - well, she's mostly interested in outrunning them.
Reveals the dangers of obsession in the life of a female athlete who only wants to win.
In this dazzling and minimalist drama, the director Ursula Meier has created an unforgettable portrait of a young woman desperate to prove she's as good as any man.
As the sullen, driven heroine, Louise Szpindel delivers an intense and ferociously focused performance.
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