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PETITE CHERIE

France, 2000 (MIFF 2001, International Panorama)

Director: Anne Villacèque

One of the strongest French debuts of the year, every shot in Petite Cherie is perfectly composed and every nuance in behaviour and emotion is meticulously observed. The tragedy of the story is slightly lightened by a subtle comic undertone, but sense of doom remains. Sybille (30) still lives with her parents in a very boring suburb. She is not beautiful, still a virgin and so shy that, even in the privacy of her own bedroom, she first puts her nightdress on before taking off her underwear. During the endless tram journeys between home and work, a routine office job, she reads cheap romantic fiction. When one day over the edge of her novel, she stares straight into the eyes of the handsome Victor, her romantic fantasies would appear to come true. In no time he has moved in with her and her parents. Victor acts as if he goes to work every morning, but in reality he doesn't do a thing. Sybille's parents mollycoddle him, glad as they are with the happiness he has brought their daughter. But neither a new car, new bedroom or new clothes are good enough "Victor is not to be satisfied."

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