Fat Girl

(À ma soeur!)
France/Italy 2001. Dir: Catherine Breillat. 86 min. 35mm

“As fascinating as it is discomfiting and as intelligent as it is primal ... France's foremost bad girl has made an extremely good movie — and maybe even a great one."

35mm PRINT! ► Arguably the chef-d’œuvre in envelope-pushing French filmmaker Catherine Breillat’s prickly, uncompromising career, Fat Girl, the provocateur's no-holds-barred look at sibling rivalry and sexual awakening, gleans gut-dropping truths from its brutal, unflinching honesty. Anaïs (brilliant newcomer Anaïs Reboux) is a pudgy, taunted, 12-year-old girl committed to unceremoniously losing her virginity to “a nobody.” Her sister Elena (brave Roxane Mesquida), a flirty, knowingly-attractive 15-year-old, is determined to save herself for first love. On summer vacation with their oblivious parents, the sisters meet a smooth-talking Italian law student who coerces Elena into a sordid, sexual relationship under the guise of grande amour; Anaïs is helplessly (and literally) left to witness — as are we. A Rohmerian holiday film by way of New French Extremity, Fat Girl is punctuated by one of the most shocking, disturbing, and oddly cathartic denouements in recent memory. “Devastating … Ranks among the richest screen portrayals of a child ever filmed” (Stephen Holden, New York Times).


“The marker for how uncompromising, ironic, and complex [Breillat’s] vision can be.”

The Playlist | full review

“Offers cruelly honest insights … Dark, disturbing, and hugely impressive.”

Time Out | full review

“A lean, mean movie, and not a pretty one, but it leaves no question as to Breillat’s angular originality as a filmmaker.”

Salon | full review