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The Beautiful Person (La belle personne, France 2008), Loosely based on Madame de Lafayette’s landmark 1678 novel La Princesse de Clèves, maverick director Christophe Honoré’s new film, The Beautiful Person, tracks an ensemble of Parisian high school students as they navigate through the turbulent imbroglios of young love. The voluptuous and enigmatic Léa Seydoux plays Junie, a world-weary 16-year-old who has just transferred into the school following the death of her mother. Immediately becoming the center of attention, she chooses the gentle but intense Otto as her boyfriend. But what could have been a smooth transition into her new environment is complicated by the ardent attentions of her unscrupulous Italian teacher Nemours, a serial seducer played in a carefully disheveled bohemian manner by the dashing Louis Garrel. As passions flare, it becomes readily apparent that Nemours maintains a rather liberal approach to student-teacher relationships. Director Honoré brings to the mix a heartfelt empathy for the emotional enormity and painful yearning that are part and parcel of teenage relationships, deftly capturing the romantic intrigue and sexual frisson familiar to teenagers everywhere. A former critic for Cahiers du cinéma, Honoré revises the familiar filmic iconography of the French New Wave with rigor and affection, adding to it a contemporary pop sensibility and a willingness to treat teenagers as intelligent and interesting human beings.

Written by Christophe Honoré, Gilles Taurand. Photographed by Laurent Brunet. With Louis Garrel, Léa Seydoux, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet. In French with English subtitles. 90 min. Distributed by IFC Films.

At the Sundance Kabuki all seats are reserved and an amenities fee is in effect for most shows. Tickets are available through the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas box office, at kiosks in the lobby and online at sundancecinemas.com/kabuki with print-at-home capability. San Francisco Film Society members receive discounted admission only to SFFS Screen programs and only at the box office, not online or at the lobby kiosks.

For full, complete and up-to-date information on all SFFS Screen programming, including buying tickets, visit sffs.org. Information and tickets are also available at sundancecinemas.com.

Added by cinesoul on August 12, 2009

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