From French writer-director Catherine Breillat (Romance), is an absolute stunner of a movie involving the affection and bitterness between overweight, morose Anais (Anais Reboux), 12, and her babe sister Elena (Roxane Mesquida), three years older and ready to experiment with sex. On summer vacation — the sisters share a bedroom — Elena slowly gives in to hunky law student Fernando (Libero de Rienzo). They go at it graphically (Breillat doesn't shy away from showing condoms or hard-ons) while AnaÃƒ?Ã‚Â¯s lies awake and alert in the next bed. The shattering conclusion seems to come out of left field, but Breillat draws delicately nuanced performances from Mesquida and Reboux, and creates a raw portrait of female virginity under siege that has the blunt ring of truth.
From The Archives Issue 321: July 10, 1980