Glasgow Film Festival 2015: The New Girlfriend

Film Review by Jamie Dunn | 17 Feb 2015
  • The New Girlfriend Film
Film title: The New Girlfriend
Director: François Ozon
Starring: Anaïs Demoustier, Romain Duris, Raphaël Personnaz
Release date: 22 May
Certificate: 18

Francois Ozon's favourite subject is the fluidity of sexual identity and desire. He's been playing with this theme since early short The Summer Dress right up to last year's Young & Beautiful. It’s at the heart of The New Girlfriend too, which centres on the relationship between Claire (Anaïs Demoustier) and David (Romain Duris), the husband of her recently deceased best friend, which takes a turn for the intimate when Claire discovers David dressing up in his dead wife’s clothes.

Loosely based on a Ruth Rendell story, Ozon’s film quivers between psychological thriller and playful farce. Initially it appears David cross-dressing is a coping mechanism, a way of keeping his wife alive. But from his deft matching of accessories and graceful way in which he moves on heels, we guess this isn’t his first time in garters. Claire’s motivation for encouraging David’s female alter-ego are hazy too: is she after a new BFF or new lover? When Claire’s husband (Raphael Personnaz) gets in on the action, it becomes difficult to keep up. But then that’s Ozon’s point: human sexuality is alway in flux – go with it. [Jamie Dunn]

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20 Feb, GFT, 8.30pm

21 Feb, GFT, 3.45pm