Je, Tu, Il, Elle

Je, Tu, Il, Elle ★★★★

Chantal Akerman directs and plays the lead role in this, her debut feature of a girl in solitude. A girl in pain, dealing with a breakup and the impact on her every day thereafter.

As she scribbles hastily written letters and places them on the floor of her room, she eats raw sugar from a plain paper bag. Raw energy, no frills, naked... just the bare minimum to survive, and as Julie paces and thinks, it's clear she is completely lost.

Akerman's developing avant-garde style is clear to see here, and with an unusual almost plotless direction and stark black and white framing it just oozes an elaborate period in France when only the most creative of creatives were getting back to basics. One girl, one room, a few props and a narrative. A brief male interlude and a passionate, meaningful finale. What more could you need right?

Calming and rich, this is a superb debut from a director with fantastic clarity in her work and a true understanding of what really makes people tick. Some might find this meandering or even 'slow', but for me it was just the emotional hug I needed today.

The Criterion Challenge 2022
47. Sean Baker's Closet Picks
Alphabetical April 2022 - 13. A movie whose title starts with J

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