(director/writer: Agathe Riedinger; cinematographer: Noe Bach; editor: Lila Desiles; music: Audrey Ismael; cast: Malou Khebizi (Liane {Poughy), Idir Azou (Dino), Andrea Bescond (Sabine), Ashley Romano (Alicia), Alexis Manenti (Nathan), Kilia Fernane (Stephanie), Léa Gorla (Caria), Alexander Noisier (Jessy), Antonia Buresi (voice-Alexandra Ferrer); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Priscilla Berton, Judith Nora; Silex Films; 2024-France-in French with English subtitles) 

“Malou Khebizi aces her role.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The debut directorial film by the former actor Agathe Riedinger is a familiar coming-of-age drama about a troubled teen from a working-class family seeking fame and riches, as she’s obsessed with social media and reality television. The 19-year-old Liane (Malou Khebizi) lives with her indolent mom (Andrea Bescond) and kid sister (Ashley Romano) in the town of Fréjus in Southern France. She spends her days watching her younger sister and shoplifting clothes to sell and wear on her social media sites.

Liane thinks she finds a way out of her dead-end life when through her Instagram post she gets in touch with a raunchy Miami-based reality show “Miracle Island,” and they audition her on the Internet for the gig. She states that she doesn’t care if the programmers will make her lose her virginity to get on the show, but cares only that she will make less than her co-stars.

Liane waits for a response to her audition that never comes from the slimy TV people.

When her mom sent Liane at 13 to a foster home for a brief stay, she befriended Dino (Idir Azou). Now she has some interest in him while he wants a more active romantic relationship.

The screenplay leaves too many things underdeveloped, as all the household tension and how screwed-up Liane is never is fully tackled. But Malou Khebizi aces her role, and kept me interested in the dramatics. While the DP Noe Bach provided some fine visuals.

It played at the Cannes Film Festival.