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The Crack Magazine


Paris, 13th District

Director: Jacques Audiard

Stars: Noémie Merlant, Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba, Jehnny Beth

This bittersweet look at the lives, loves and ambitions of three Parisian twentysomethings, adapted by Céline Sciamma from the graphic novels of US cartoonist Adrian Tomine, signals a slight change of gear for the normally intense drama-inclined Audiard. Zhang is Emilie a science graduate who seems happy slumming it in a telesales job. Camille (Samba) is a postgraduate who lodges with Emilie in her Les Olympiades tower block. Fellow Olympiades-dweller, Nora (Merlant) is a shy law student who works with Camille. Nora is horrified when she is mistaken by fellow students for the erotic webcam artiste Amber Sweet (Savages’ singer Beth). It meanders a little, but it’s beautifully rendered in black and white, the flawed but relatable trio of characters are sympathetically played, and occasionally, the picture captures the rhythm and random moments of melancholy, warmth and wonder of big city life. The focus on sex and sex work ensure it’s destined to be described as ‘typically French’.