Cine Expat: Été 85

Regie: François Ozon, France, 100 MIN, French, 12+

Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

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Alexis and his working-class parents have recently moved to the sleepy Normandy seaside town of Treport, where the fair-haired, round-faced boy knows few people. Perhaps that’s one reason he becomes fast friends with 18-year-old David, a more muscular kid with a devil-may-care smile who comes to Alexis’ aid out of nowhere when his tiny sailboat capsizes in a (melo-)dramatic storm.

How can an angelic-looking, 16-year-old blond boy resist a more tenebrous, slightly older man with a silver earring, a sailboat and a motorcycle? It’s no surprise when cute Alex falls in love with the edgy and alluring David in Summer of 85 (Été 85), the 19th feature from gifted French filmmaker François Ozon. What is surprising is how deeply this French-language adaptation of British novelist Aidan Chambers’ 1982 YA classic, Dance on My Grave, feels like a full-circle moment for Ozon.