18 Years Old and Rising
Dir.: Frédéric Louf | France 2011 | 92 min
In Paris in 1981, where the socialist François Mitterand has just been elected as France's new President, a young student is so ashamed of his florist family from the provinces, that he spends all of his mother's money, and the cash he earns through various night-time jobs, to placate a clique of jet set youths, where he naturally falls in love with the most superficial and narcissistic girl. One is happy to forgive the film its somewhat trendily leftish, social satire and a certain lack of sophistication in terms of political discourse, as it is so heart-warmingly charming. One million unemployed are roaming the streets, and right-wing extremist thugs are creating havoc in immigrant neighbourhoods, but the film is mostly in love with its young anti-hero, who comes from a centuries-old tradition of hopeful social mobility. The young theatre actor Pierre Niney, who plays the main role, oozes charm, but also a certain lack of social responsibility, which gives the story its bite.