Quand on a 17 ans France 2016 – 116min.
Damien, 17, lives alone with his mother, a doctor, while his father is on a tour of duty abroad. Thomas, the son of farmers, attends the same high school as him. The two lonely teenagers gradually enter into a violent relationship that nobody understands. When Damien’s mother offers to let Thomas stay with them while the latter’s mother is hospitalized, the relationship between the two boys, now forced to live together, takes an increasingly intimate turn.
André Téchiné is 73 years old, but his movies retain a vitality and surprising freshness. His 23rd film, co-written by Céline Sciamma, the director of Water Lilies and Tomboy, is a story about the sexual awakening of two boys caught in the vortex of adolescence, where desire and violence mix are part of reality. Behind its dark mise en scène, the director films love with unprecedented and exciting clarity, orchestrating a romantic story with disarming simplicity. And so despite seeming like a small film, Being 17 is a surprisingly heartbreaking story with a handful of powerful scenes. The cast is strong, with in-depth performances by Kacey Mottet Klein, Fila Corentin, and the excellent Sandrine Kiberlain.