Look at Me
Winter 2006 Main series
Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 4:00pm
Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 7:00pm
Monday, March 20, 2006 at 7:00pm
Directed by Agnés Jaoui
Screenplay by Agnés Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri
Rated PG ·
With an Oscar nomination already under her belt for The Taste of Others, Agnés Jaoui brings us her latest wry comedy Look at Me. Brilliantly co-scripted by Jaoui and husband Jean-Pierre Bacri, this character-driven film more than deserved its multiple wins for Best Screenplay at the Festival de Cannes, the Stockholm Film Festival and the European Film Awards. Jaoui’s clever and touching satire, has been showered with critical acclaim worldwide, nabbed nominations for Best Director at the European Film Awards and Best Writing and Best Actress at the César Awards.
Look at Me exposes a dysfunctional father-daughter relationship between Étienne (Jean-Pierre Bacri, The Housekeeper, The Taste of Others), an acclaimed author and publisher, and Lolita (Marilou Berry, The First Time I Turned Twenty), a promising yet plump opera singer suffering from low self-esteem. Lolita is convinced that those who seem interested in her are only trying to get to her father, who, fully aware of his fame and publishing prowess, is overtly rude and self-absorbed. Unfolding in tandem is Jaoui’s exposé of celebrity and the societal pressure to conform. Lolita’s singing teacher (played by Jaoui herself, 24 Hours in the Life of a Woman, The Taste of Others) suddenly becomes more dedicated to Lolita’s progress when she learns of Étienne’s stature, which could advance her husband’s (Laurent Grévill) struggling career as an author.
Jaoui’s wonderfully witty and observant comedy-drama features superb performances that allow emotional truths to effortlessly unfold. The actors inhabit their roles; Berry and Bacri in particular deliver outstanding portrayals. Central to its many levels is the film’s focus on power, revealing how people choose to misuse it in different relationships. The film’s naturally fluid script, along with its luscious soundtrack of choral music, makes the tone subtle and unforced yet funny and affecting. The plot is incidental to the characters, who Jaoui has created to be refreshingly real; though perhaps not always likeable, they are completely believable and recognizable. Deeply moral but not judgmental, Look at Me is an invigorating film from beginning to end.