Comme Une Image (altogether unsatisfactorily ‘translated’ to Look at me) follows the life and times of Lolita, her family, and random other people along the way. It’s a study of hero-worship really, and how people’s attitudes and attention vary enormously based on whether or not they are considering their hero.
Young Lolita lives under her father’s shadow – is absolutely convinced she’s overweight and ugly, and further convinced that people are only interested in her in order to get to her father (who’s a very famous – and rich – author and publisher). The film follows various people as their lives mingle with her and her father, and asks all sorts of questions about motives. Everyone, as far as I could tell, had someone they worshipped (whether overtly or not), and in several cases they were faced with the flaws in their hero, and had to decide whether to overlook them or not.
I didn’t really engage with Marilou Berry’s Lolita – although her father is wonderfully played by Jean-Pierre Bacri. He ends up being a thoroughly unlikeable and unsympathetic character who never truly redeems himself. In fact the hero of the film has to be Agnes Jaoui’s music teacher character.
As always it’s all brilliantly understated, with very underplayed irony – while not a classic comedy, I did laugh out loud – well, snorted anyway – on two occasions when the sheer ridiculous of all it got to me.
The other star of the film is Virginie Desarnauts, who has a background character in many ways (as Karine, Lolita’s step-mother and long-suffering wife to her Father) – but she is so beautiful she just captures the entire scene whenever she’s on camera. I’ve not seen her in anything else, so can’t comment on the quality of her acting, but it was either nearly flawless or she wasn’t acting at all and just being herself. She also plays an enormously sympathetic character – I almost lean towards thinking she’s to nice for the role of Karine, but maybe not.
But overall a very solid cast. Very understated comedy, and that classic French film “je ne sais quoi” that almost always hits the spot for me. By no means a classic, but entertaining none-the-less.