A coming-of-age drama which skilfully combines sexual frankness with a captivating sense of innocence, first-time director Katell Quillévéré's charming Love Like Poison was a surprise, yet deserved, critical hit at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
Anna, a young teenager, comes home from her Catholic boarding school for the holidays and discovers her father has left. Her mother is devastated and confined in the company of the local priest and Anna clings to her beloved grandfather. She also grows close to Pierre, a free-spirited teenager who cares little about God. Anna is preparing for her confirmation, but her budding desire for Pierre shakes her faith.
In the central role, young newcomer Clara Augarde delivers a performance of immense assurance and bravery whilst the Breton landscapes are beautifully captured by cinematographer Tom Harari. An eclectic soundtrack includes English folk songs, church choirs and a choral rendition of Radiohead's Creep. All of which is guided by a sensitivity and poise which announces writer and director Quillévéré as a bold new voice in French cinema.