The tender, frank and award-winning debut feature from Katell Quillévéré has a young girl’s impending confirmation as the setting for a collision between love, faith and burgeoning sexuality.

Un Poison Violent
Director: Katell Quillévéré
Cast: Clara Augarde, Lio, Michel Galabru, Youen Leboulanger-Gourvil
Duration: 92 mins
Country of Origin: France

MCoarse language, nudity and mature themes

Love Like Poison

★★★★
“A bittersweet gem. Quillévéré reveals herself to be a supremely natural film-maker. A coming-of-age movie that is touching, funny, desperately sad and has a spiritual dimension that comes to its mysterious and satisfying fruition at the very end. A film whose gentleness and humanity will leave you sighing with assent”
Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

“A film of nuance and subtle glimpses, like looking at the world through a curtain of Breton lace.”
Philip French, THE OBSERVER

★★★★
“Sensitive & slightly offbeat. The film refuses to be either prurient or particularly erotic. Its quietness, however, is deceptive. Quillévéré is clearly a director to note.”
Derek Malcolm, THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD

★★★★
“You’d be hard pushed to find a more honest and tender portrayal of early adolescence. Quillévéré approaches her subject matter with great sensitivity. It’s a confident depiction of the conflicting emotions of a young teenager, and one that never shies away from showing its more confusing and uncomfortable side. But what really makes the film a success is Augarde’s captivating performance, a natural screen presence; she perfectly embodies a mix of awkwardness, vulnerability and spirit.”
Guy Lodge, THE LIST

“Superb. Carried with confidence and subtlety, the film’s sheer command and the candid central performance by promising newcomer Clara Augarde will win the film equal support from critics and audiences. Delicate but boldly handled.”
Jonathan Romney, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

Stealing Beauty transplanted to the meadows and hedgerows of Brittany”
Phil de Semlyen, EMPIRE

The tender, frank and award-winning debut feature from Katell Quillévéré has a young girl’s impending confirmation as the setting for a collision between love, faith and burgeoning sexuality.

14 year-old Anna (striking newcomer Clara Augarde) has returned from boarding school to her small bucolic village in Brittany, where she lives with her devoutly Catholic and newly-single mother (Lio) in the house of her ailing paternal grandfather (Michel Galabru). Along with her absent father and the compassionate parish priest, these adults offer new and often-conflicting world views and advice to the confused teenager. Her budding relationship with a neighbourhood boy Pierre (Youen Leboulanger-Gourvil) unveils additional unexplored territory, the conflict between faith and sexual discovery may be irreconcilable…

Delicately shifting between these various characters just as our protagonist pinballs uneasily among them, LOVE LIKE POISON is beautifully written and acted, augmented by an evocative score, a rebellious streak of black humour and lushly photographed locations. Rapturous in tone, this is one of the most personal coming-of-age tales of recent French cinema, marking Quillévéré and her young star as major discoveries.

Love Like Poison

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  Love Like Poison