It starts completely different than what the mood becomes towards the middle and end of the film. A 16- year- old girl on the verge of her sexuality, with a dysfunctional family, finds in men her happiness. Suzanne, a lover of Bonnard and Boris Vian, skips classes and has encounters with men after breaking up with her real love, Luc. Her father, getting ill, leaves home for another woman. Her mother, falling apart, can't stand the way she is dealing with life. Suzanne's older brother, Robert, becomes the "head" of the family, and throughout the movie, it shows quite an affection between the siblings.
Pialat deals with sensuality beautifully! Suzanne has dimples which always is referrable to a child, but in a woman's body. In many scenes she is seen naked, never completely. She knows about her own sensuality, and uses it to pursue her men.
Suzanne is not looking for love. But as the beginning of the film inputs, people urge for it.
Many of the scenes in this movie were completely improvised. The Father (who is the director), many times plays around with his actors. For him, what is important is not the continuity of shots, but the intensity one can have when acting. Apparently, he removed many scenes because he fell in love with the beauty of Sandrine Bonnaire ("Suzanne") and how she has a PRESENCE that is contagious.
Sandrine was not going to be in the movie, they (director, screenwriter and casting director probably) weren't sure of how she looked physically, after all, it was not what they were looking for. But, Sandrine took her sister to audition, and they asked her to audition as well.
The film ends suddenly, leaving a clue of what happened, and letting the imagination flow (like in many "weird" cuts throughout the movie). Also, this film was very criticized for not having an exact plot line, but this was a decision in post-production.
I could spend another 10 paragraphs or so, writing about specific scenes and moments in the movie. But I really don't want to ruin for whom hasn't seen it. Keep an eye on the seen where the father talks about the dimples, and the one where in the family gathering, he appears.
For me, Pialat is a genius, and I'm hating myself for not having seen any of his pieces until now. He wanted to talk about teenage years (inspired bu the screenwriter's life), friends, sex and family. Absolutely inspiring, stunning and sexy!
P.S. I just noticed Netflix's description for this film and I hated it!!! It has nothing to do with the story! I'm upset at it!