Bonnell's film tells the story of free-spirited artist Charlotte (played by Sophie Verbeeck) who is cheating on her boyfriend Micha (Félix Moati) with her friend, a bright young lawyer called Mélodie (Anaïs Demoustier). With Charlotte unable to commit wholly to either Mélodie or Micha, the two are left feeling neglected by the woman they love, and in turn embark on their own secret affair.
What follows is a comedy-of-errors meets psychosexual drama, as Mélodie attempts to keep the two covert affairs secret from each of the lovers – her own situation becoming increasingly complicated. The covert encounters provide some of the film's funniest scenes as Mélodie is hidden away behind closed doors and on balconies, but Bonnell's nimbly balances his lighter subject with heart-rending observation of the passions and pains of love.
We follow the three young protagonists as they resist the responsibilities of adulthood, acting on their own sexual impulses whilst attempting to protect one another from harm.
Anaïs Demoustier was made for this role: having given an incredibly multi-faceted performance in Francois Ozon's transgender fairytale The New Girlfriend earlier this year, she is charming and unassuming as the seemingly naïve Mélodie who slowly regains command of her own sexuality – without sacrificing her femininity. Despite what the title might suggest, it's really 'All About Änais' – and this latest role will no doubt continue to propel her to fame in French independent cinema.
Given its subject matter one might expect Bonnell's film to be frothy or salacious, but he manages to deftly navigate between the more tittilating encounters and some of its weightier themes. From sexual harassment to homophobic abuse, Bonnell's film explores different facets of female sexual experience as well as holding up a mirror to attitudes towards perceived masculinity. Bonnell's script is sharp and playful, touching lightly but intelligently on themes of growing-up and the fluidity of sexuality.
Witty and charming without being trite, don't let the film's menage à trois subject matter mislead. Bonnell's new film is more about attempting to understand desire and sexual emotion than it is about dangerous liaisons (though there are enough of these to pique mainstream interest) and sheds question on what it is to be a modern woman. Nuanced performances from all three leads make this definitely one to watch on its release this November.
UK Release date: 27 November.
|What||All About Them! (A trois on y va)|
|Where||Institut Français , 17 Queensberry Place , London, SW7 2DT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Kensington (underground)|
27 Nov 15 – 31 Jan 16, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to go to the Ciné Lumière website to book.|