I had the pleasure of attending a special preview of the latest film by French director Francois Ozon, The New Girlfriend. The film is in French and is subtitled in English.
It tells the story of two childhood best friends Claire and Laura who grow up together but unfortunately Laura becomes ill and dies. Laura's husband is left alone to care for their newly born daughter but Claire promises to help them both. Shortly after she realizes she may have gotten more than she bargained for. Claire happens to stumble into David's (Laura's husband) home one day to find a woman with blonde hair and a dress tending to their baby. The 'woman' turns out to be David in a wig wearing Laura's dress. The story progresses into a whirlwind of craziness as we learn David's secret obsession with cross-dressing and how he just cant let go of his wife. Claire is reminded of her friendship with Laura and helps David through the difficult and bizarre situation. Their relationship turns into an unconventional friendship that leaves you wondering for more.
The New Girlfriend is an erotic twisted love story. As ScreenDaily said, it's "a love story for the modern age." Like most European films there's no shortage of sexually explicit scenes.
As a huge fan of foreign films, I really enjoyed The New Girlfriend. It's a mystery drama that keeps you locked in a state of shock but filled with emotional and comedic moments to cool tensions. The cast gave the film real depth and emotion. Claire is played by the beautiful and eloquent Anaïs Demoustier. French native Roman Duris plays David with such passion and depth you'd think he was a drag queen off screen. Both actors exude a great deal of tenderness and bring to light the hardships that come with death and gender fluidity, like being transgender.
The film will be released in the U.S. on September 18, 2015 and carries an R rating. In the meantime check out the trailer.