Carrément à l'Ouest (2001)

aka: Freaky Love!


Carrément à l'Ouest photo
Alex is a drug-dealer and swindler with a violent streak. When one of his clients, a student named François, fails to give him the money he is owed, he reacts as he always reacts, by beating up his debtor. François' girlfriend Fred intervenes but she finds she is strangely drawn to Alex. Later, at a nightclub Fred meets a young woman of her own age, Sylvia, who turns out to be easy prey for a scheme she is hatching. Fred's plan is to observe Alex as he seduces Sylvia. Things begin well: both Sylvia and Alex take the bait and the three young people find themselves in a luxury hotel suite, paid for by Alex's ill-gotten gains. But, inevitably, complications arise. Fred has underestimated the complexity of her two victims, and has also misinterpreted her own feelings for Alex…
© 2012

Film Review

Film poster
With Carrément à l'Ouest, director Jacques Doillon returns to a favourite theme of his, the myriad complexities of relationships between adolescents experiencing their first taste of romantic love. More than perhaps any other it is the subject which best defines Doillon's particular brand of realist cinema, and one in which he excels. Whilst Carrément à l'Ouest is certainly not the best example from the Doillon stable - it lacks the depth, artistic style and emotional force of some of his earlier achievements - it nonetheless succeeds in evoking the vulnerability and inconsistency of young men and women as they find their feet in the early stages of adulthood.

The film stars Lou Doillon, the daughter of Jacques Doillon and his wife Jane Birkin, and Caroline Ducey, the star of Catherine Breillat's controversial 1999 film Romance . The lead male role is played by Guillaume Saurrel in, surprisingly, his first film appearance. All three actors earn distinction for their convincing performances which are naturalistic to the extent that it's hard to believe most of the script wasn't improvised. At times, the story feels a little implausible and the pacing a tad leaden, but the sincerity and raw talent issuing from both sides of the camera makes it seductively easy to engage with this latest offering from one of France's most accomplished filmmakers.
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The director Jacques Doillon also worked with the actor Lou Doillon on the film Un enfant de toi (2012).

Film Credits

  • Director: Jacques Doillon
  • Script: Jacques Doillon
  • Cinematographer: Caroline Champetier
  • Music: Dom Farkas, Dom Lemou, Jean Lemou
  • Cast: Lou Doillon (Fred), Caroline Ducey (Silvia), Guillaume Saurrel (Alex), Camille Clavel (François, the student), Xavier Villeneuve (Xavier, Alex's brother), Hafed Benotman (Ben, François's friend), Joshua Phillips (Hotel clerk), Antoine Chain (Customer), Arthur Chain (Hotel bellboy), Aurore Giradolle (Girl in night-club), Hervé Duhamel (Cash machine customer), Hassan Dramé (18 Arrondissement boy)
  • Editor: Catherine Quesemand
  • Costume designer: Mic Cheminal
  • Producer: Richard Djoudi, Marin Karmitz
  • Production company: Diba Films, France 3 Cinéma
  • Country: France
  • Language: French
  • Support: Color
  • Runtime: 97 min
  • Aka: Freaky Love!

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