Playlist (2021)

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Like a black and white Amelie (2001) without the whimsy, French director and graphic novelist Nine Antico’s first feature tracks the travails of hapless Sophie (Sara Forestier) as she searches for love.

Sophie can’t help but be disappointed by every man she meets. Life is not going well; at 30 she is too old to study, her bed has bed bugs and her boss at a publishing company (“We call them graphic novels, not comics”), where she hopes to get a foot in the door with her drawings, is a self-confessed asshole. Her actor friend Julie (Laetitia Dosch) is similarly at a loss; the small acting jobs she gets are not what she thought her life would be at 30.

The black and white cinematography is gorgeous but it is Forestier’s soft and forlorn face that makes this so watchable. She reminded me of (much-missed) Adrienne Shelly in Hal Hartley’s Trust (1990). There is a little bit of every woman in Sophie and we understand her hopeful naivete and seeming inability to transcend her circumstances.

The pace sags a little toward the end but the closing credits give a nice, graphic punch.

Have you seen this film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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