Le Chignon D'Olga review

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Confidently directed by the then-23-year-old Jerome Bonnell, this 2001 ensemble piece explores how grief can emerge in some unexpected ways.

A year after his mother's death, teenager Julien (Hubert Behnamdine) has lost all interest in playing the piano. Drifting through the summer in his sleepy town, he hangs out with his best friend Alice (Natalie Boutefeu), and yearns for the Olga (Delphine Rollin) of the title, a beautiful bookshop assistant. At home, Julien's author dad (Serge Ribaoukine) is struggling to put words on the page, while younger sister Emma (Florence Loiret-Caille) is both playing mum and dealing with her own adolescent confusion...

Whether we're talking style or content, Le Chignon D'Olga owes a clear debt to the intimate dramas of French director Eric Rohmer. But this is more than just a slavish homage, and the engaging performances, gentle humour and relaxed storytelling all prove that Bonnell has plenty of talent of his own to show off.

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