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While flirting with camp, François Ozon's The New Girlfriend offers thoughtful -- and humorous -- commentary on sexual and gender identity.
All Critics (79)
| Top Critics (19)
| Fresh (63)
| Rotten (16)
A swirl of gender confusion, "The New Girlfriend" tosses all the he/she/we question marks it can find in a tale of contemporary confused sexuality.
It's less than it should've been, and a little mild. But Ozon makes it glide with confidence, in or out of heels.
Duris in drag looks like a refugee from the New York Dolls, but his character aspires to nothing more than life as a bourgeois, pearl-clad mom.
The New Girlfriend is a funny, delicate, subtly flavored dish deliciously prepared by François Ozon - idiosyncratic and unforgettable.
A wildly entertaining work, one that manages to be simultaneously funny, touching, slightly unnerving and undeniably sexy to behold, regardless of where your predilections may lie.
Although at times amorphously told and genre non-specific - Dark comedy? Soapy drama? DePalma-esque thriller? - the film holds interest as it often defies expectation and juggles its bold, complex emotions.
The film devolves into a slightly timid exercise in kitsch; it's the sort of thing Pedro Almodóvar would do a lot more convincingly.
The New Girlfriend is perhaps best experienced as variations on a theme, rather than an organically developed story; I just wish that were the experience Ozon had intended.
The political dynamic that would have made the film simply topical turns into a psychological dynamic that makes the film and its relationships more complicated and unpredictable.
In life and cinema, trans women's lives are often extremely difficult. Ozon is generous enough to imagine a path around their usual obstacle courses.
The reason this is one of Ozon's most approachable and soft-centred films is that it is one of his most radically activist.
With The New Girlfriend, [François] Ozon reminds us that defying labels isn't something we outgrow, but often a natural part of a person's identity, of any age.
Duris delivers a profoundly sensitive performance without a hint of stereotype in this surprising drama that understands the complexity of sexuality, despite a few narrative missteps especially in the second half (the scene with Duris and Personnaz in the shower is nonsensical).
Ozon has done it again.
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