Wild Side (2005)



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Movie Info

The freewheeling sexuality of three men (one of whom lives as a woman) leads them into a relationship that stretches the traditional bounds of love and friendship in this drama. Stéphanie (Stéphanie Michelini) is a pre-operative transsexual who supports herself as a prostitute and shares a flat with two roommates -- Mikhail (Edouard Nikitine), a Russian soldier who has fled the army and is hiding out in Paris, and Jamel (Yasmine Belmadi), a hustler from Algeria who services stray men in the city's railway stations. When Stéphanie's mother (who is still in deep denial about her son's new life) falls seriously ill, she travels to the small town where she was born to help care for her. Mikhail opts to tag along, and when business starts to dry up in Paris, Jamel follows them to the country. As Stéphanie struggles with her mother, both Mikhail and Jamel find themselves falling in love with her, and when she is forced to pick between them, Stéphanie chooses not to choose, opting to pursue an open relationship with both men. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Wild Side

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

Lyrical yet succinct.

Jun 23, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

A morbid and self-important homosexual Jules & Jim for the new millennium.

Jun 10, 2005 | Full Review…

Viewers are either going to walk out after 10 minutes or, like this tolerant critic, get caught up in the sordid lives of the three misfits and stick around for the ambiguous ending.

Jun 10, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4

Lifshitz successfully maneuvers his trio of outcasts toward a state of grace: His vision of misfit utopianism, in its own quiet way, is as defiant as anything in Fassbinder.

Jun 7, 2005

The woe-is-me, pity-please ambiance with which Lifschitz has suffused his movie becomes more than a little hard to take.

Mar 1, 2007 | Full Review…

A weirder ménage à trois you will never encounter.

Aug 19, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wild Side


This is definitely not an action packed thriller. Think of it more as a French version of Transamerica. Stephanie Michelini plays a pre-surgical transsexual prostitute who returns home to care for her dying mother. A moving performance. Her two live-in lovers join her in the countryside. The entire film consists of the interplay between these three unlikely lovers and their reminiscences of their lives up to this point. Poignant and thoughtful, rather than wild and wooly, it presents a solid argument for allowing people to be who they are without trying to make them fit society's approval. So if your thing is bang-bang shoot-'em-ups, this won't work for you. But if you are willing to be uncomfortable and to follow this non-linear story, you might be rewarded with a new sympathy for a sad segment of society. This viewer found the relaxed pace and the scenery to be quite enough to keep one entertained.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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