Milla. 2017. France/Portugal. Directed by Valérie Massadian. In French; English subtitles. 128 min.
New York Premiere
Following up her acclaimed 2011 debut Nana, Valérie Massadian has made a moving, visually striking meditation on young motherhood and the vagaries of growing up. Severine Jonckeere turns in a remarkably subtle performance as the titular 17-year-old; just as her youthful romance with Leo (Luc Chessel) seems ready to cross the threshold into teenage parenthood, Massadian performs a radical formal gesture that both complicates Milla’s predicament and evokes the beauty and cruelty of time’s passage. A prizewinner at the 2017 Locarno Film Festival, Milla audaciously eschews conventional melodrama, searching instead for a complex, truthful reflection of life itself. A Grasshopper Film release.