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"Nathalie"

What an absolutley heart breaking film – all about loneliness and betrayal, and a young girl caught in a trap she’s desperate to escape. It’s certainly not a film for the prudish
either, in the way that is perhaps typically French.

All the main characters are so lonely – the loveless marriage and the prostitute hired by the wife to try to discover what her husband is truly like, by having sex with him. Like Moulin Rouge, the sex industry is presented as all glitz and glamour, and the girls being young free and easy – while at the same time the true picture is never lurking far from sight, with unguarded moments showing all too clearly the girls’ desires to be free from it. The contrast of Nathalie ice skating – on her own – and plying her trade in the “private club” speaks volumes.

I wouldn’t want to suggest it’s all tits and bottoms, or a porn movie – thankfully only one very short sequence approaches this mark – but there is not too much doubt left in the mind about what goes on at said clubs. Actually breasts do feature quite a lot, come to think of it – but only in the brazen topless french way (if you know what I mean).

One of the most interesting aspects is the wife trying to hard to be “modern” and accept that her husband puts it about, while clearly just desperate to have him to herself. How she gives him the cold shoulder, and then cries on Nathalie’s shoulder about how distant he is being. And equally how he can’t see why she has a problem with him having a quick bonk while away with work – “it doesn’t mean anything”, he claims.

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