Quivering with febrile intensity and religious fervour, this coming-of-age tale from debut director Katell Quillévéré sensitively portrays the conflict between a 14-year-old girl’s burgeoning sexuality and the conventional bourgeois morality of a rural French Catholic community. As Anna (Clara Augarde) nears her Confirmation, she is attracted to teenager Pierre, but cannot decide whether to offer herself – body and soul – to God or to this free-spirited atheist. While Anna oscillates between passion and piety, her recently abandoned, emotionally distraught mother Jeanne (Lio) grows close to the village’s handsome priest, Father François (Stefano Cassetti). Anna’s bawdy, bed-ridden grandfather Jean (Michel Galabru), meanwhile, is preoccupied with his imminent death.
In less assured hands, this might have seemed schematic and over-familiar, but the 31-year-old French filmmaker’s touch is both delicate and assured. Typical of her refreshing originality is an eclectic soundtrack featuring English folk songs, traditional American hymns and an a cappella version of Radiohead’s Creep. (Notes by Nigel Floyd).