WINTER BOY (LE LYCEEN)
(director/writer: Christophe Honore; cinematographer: Remy Chevrin; editor: Chantal Hyams; music: Yoshiro Hanno; cast: Paul Kircher (Lucas Ronis), Vincent Lacoste (Quentin Ronis), Juliette Binoche (Isabelle Ronis), Adrien Casse (Oscar), Wilfried Capet (Lilio), Anne Kessler (Sonia), Christophe Honore (Claude Ronis); Runtime: 122; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Philippr Martin/David Thion; France 2 Cinema; 2022-France-in French with English subtitles)
“Tells a slow-paced coming-of-age story involving a family tragedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
French writer/director Christophe Honore (“Love Songs”/”Sorry Angel”) tells a slow-paced coming-of-age story involving a family tragedy (the father (played by the director) dies in a car accident) and its effect is huge on the grieving survivors. The close-knit family consists of his mother Isabelle (Juliette Binoche) and his older brother Quentin (Vincent Lacoste), and features the youngest one, the 17-year-old Lucas, as the so-called Winter Boy (Paul Kircher), who narrates the non-linear story. The unconventional youth tries to find his place in society, as he acts as if a wild animal needing to be tamed.
Honore’s father in real-life died in a traffic accident when he was a child, making the story special for him.
We follow the unsettled Paul going through the difficult two-week mourning period, as he’s emotionally overwrought, making questionable decisions about his life.
Paul seeks comfort from grief with his boyfriend Oscar (Adrien Casse), making love with him, while Quentin advises him to try and forget about the loss by keeping busy.
After Paul makes it with Oscar, he vows this is for the last time and leaves home to live with Quentin in Paris, troubled that he disappointed dad by being a fag and shaming him.
Quentin’s older artistic roommate Lilio (Wilfried Capet) tempts him and he makes advances on him. In Paris, Paul confronts his aimless life and tries to find his place in the world.
The famed French movie stars, Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lacoste, only have minor roles but give effective performances. The affecting film is assuredly made. It touches on suicide, and gets a moving performance from Paul Kircher.
It played at the Toronto International Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 11/5/2022 GRADE: B