Suzanne review

You're only Suzanne once...

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While it only pops up in the end credits, covered by Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen’s gentle, mystifying song ‘Suzanne’ seems like a guiding light for French writer/director Katell Quillévéré’s second feature.

The lines “You know that she’s half crazy/But that’s why you want to be there” certainly chime with the magnetic Sara Forestier’s titular character, a selfish working-class girl whose at-all-costs affair with the good-for-nothing Julien (Paul Hamy) drives her family to the brink.

Quillévéré’s elliptical plot isn’t always spot-on, skipping years to a near maddening degree. But treading a fine line between poetry and realism, it’s still heartfelt and harrowing.

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Freelance writer

James Mottram is a freelance film journalist, author of books that dive deep into films like Die Hard and Tenet, and a regular guest on the Total Film podcast. You'll find his writings on GamesRadar+ and Total Film, and in newspapers and magazines from across the world like The Times, The Independent, The i, Metro, The National, Marie Claire, and MindFood.