Bye Bye Blondie

DIRECTOR: Virginie Despentes

Can you revive a teenage romance? At first Gloria (Béatrice Dalle, Betty Blue) is icy when Frances (Emmanuelle Béart, 8 Women, Manon of the Spring), the girl who broke her sixteen year-old heart, shows up out of the blue. But the chemistry between them hasn’t changed, and the resurrected affair heats up quickly. Flashback to the 80s: punk-rocker Gloria (played as a teenager by French rockstar Soko) is committed to the loony-bin by her conservative parents. There, she finds fellow-patient Frances, who is impressed when Gloria attacks a nurse for turning off her music. When Frances reports that patients aren’t supposed to have sex with each other, rule-breaking Gloria has all the incentive she needs. What follows is a punk-rock summer of love, until Gloria loses Frances to upward mobility.

Now forty, Frances has made it. She’s a famous talk show host, married to a well-known writer, with girls on the side. Gloria, on the other hand, is as unabashedly punk as ever, couch surfing and raising hell. “Are you proud of being on TV?” she sneers at Frances, who retorts, “Are you proud of being on welfare?” When these star-crossed lovers decide to try again, everyone predicts disaster. Will they make it work, this time around?

French film icons Béart and Dalle heat up the screen, backed by a soundtrack that will have you gelling your hair into a mohawk (look for Lydia Lunch’s cameo). Writer-director Virginie Despentes (whose first feature was the controversial Baise-Moi) can be depended on for fast-paced stories of girls being bad, and she doesn’t disappoint, right up to the immensely satisfying conclusion.

— MONICA NOLAN

In French with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F104

Get the Frameline Festival App

A festival in your pocket

FilmFest is a simple, easy to use pocket guide to all the films in this year's festival.

Frameline36 app available now!