Breathe | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated NR · 91 minutes · 2014

If you think the emotional volatility of adolescent female friendships is a uniquely American phenomenon, Mélanie Laurent's potent psychological drama is evidence to the contrary. High-school senior Charlie (Joséphine Japy) is already going through the tumult of her parents' separation when she befriends the new girl in school, brash and worldly Sarah (Lou de Laâge)—but every moment of happiness in that friendship for Charlie seems to collide with Sarah's unpredictable moods. Laurent finds an insinuating mix of naturalistic camera-work and dream-like imagery, effectively capturing the wildly swinging emotions involved. And Japy makes the most of a complex character whose intense connection to Sarah is never easy to define. Mostly, Laurent evokes that terrifying confusion that results when a best friend starts behaving like a threatening stranger, full of mental warfare where someone who just hurt you manages to convince you she was the victim. The final scenes, unfortunately, feel like a real misjudged shift in tone; it's a compelling enough story when showing how much Laurent understands the strange dynamics of girls whose hugs turn on a dime towards hate.


Staff Rating:
Director: Mélanie Laurent
Producer: Bruno Levy
Cast: Joséphine Japy, Lou de Laâge, Isabelle Carré, Claire Keim, Roxane Duran, Thomas Solivéres, Camille Claris and Louka Meliava

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