Summer of 85: Film Review

Summer of 85

Francois Ozon‘s latest feature, Summer of 85, tells the story of a short-lived gay romance and is a sun-soaked hit of nostalgia.

The film begins with Alex (Felix Lefebvre) in police custody for reasons which are unclear. The story then jumps back to the beginning of that summer, with him narrating the tale for the audience. His story begins in earnest when the dinghy he is sailing almost capsizes. Thankfully, he is rescued by fellow sailor David (Benjamin Voisin) and they subsequently embark on a whirlwind romance, which is complicated by the arrival of British au pair Kate (Philippine Velge).

At first, I expected Summer of 85 to be your run-of-the-mill gay romance story – and I enjoyed watching Alex and David’s blossoming relationship – but there is an unexpected twist which makes the film take on a much darker, serious tone. I enjoyed it less from that point on because it felt melodramatic, over-the-top, and quite soapy, which is a real shame because I had been really into it up until that moment.

Lefebvre is gorgeous and captivates as the naive Alex, high on his first love, while Voisin brings the charm as the more fun, carefree and dominant half of the pair. Velge did well sounding like a British person trying to speak French, and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi was the star of the show as David’s mother Mme Gorman.

I loved many things about Summer of 85, such as the casting, the music, and the ’80s period outfits, but I felt let down by the latter half of the story.

In selected cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema from Friday 23rd October

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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