Fat Girl 2001

Fat Girl

Critics Consensus

The controversial Fat Girl is an unflinchingly harsh but powerful look at female adolescence.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 87

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,700

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Movie Info

Anaïs is twelve and bears the weight of the world on her shoulders. She watches her older sister, Elena, whom she both loves and hates. Elena is fifteen and devilishly beautiful. Neither more futile, nor more stupid than her younger sister, she cannot understand that she is merely an object of desire. And, as such, she can only be taken. Or had. Indeed, this is the subject: a girl's loss of virginity. And, that summer, it opens a door to tragedy.

Cast & Crew

Anais Reboux
Anaïs Pingot
Arsinée Khanjian
Mother
Laura Betti
Fernando's Mother
Fredy Lagrost
Executive Producer
Giorgos Arvanitis
Cinematographer
Pascale Chavance
Film Editor
François-Renaud Labarthe
Set Decoration
Anne Dunsford-Varenne
Costume Designer
Catherine Meillan
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Fat Girl

Critic Reviews for Fat Girl

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (23)

  • [Features a] shocking, ambiguous ending.

    April 11, 2008 | Full Review…
    Chicago Reader
    Top Critic
  • Bold but unrelenting in its depiction of both physical and emotional aggression, Fat Girl will be bracing for those open to its challenges and brutal for those who aren't.

    February 24, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's compelling, honest, poignant, somewhat sad and, at the end, very disturbing -- in short, quite a good movie.

    February 24, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This is not one of [Breillat's] better efforts.

    May 31, 2002 | Rating: C+
  • Anais is not an object of pity or fun. She simply is. And after seeing Fat Girl, we understand her why and how.

    February 14, 2002 | Rating: 4/5
  • The characters come across with an unnerving sense of psychological realism and act as a flesh-and-blood foil to the allegorical story.

    January 24, 2002

Audience Reviews for Fat Girl

  • Jul 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!
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 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.
    Ivan D Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 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.
    Quinto W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 07, 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.
    John B Super Reviewer

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