Damien lives with his mother Marianne, a doctor, while his father is on a tour of duty abroad. He is bullied by Thomas, whose mother is ill. The boys find themselves living together when Marianne invites Thomas to come and stay with them.
Nathan, 16, lives alone with his father Stephane. A newcomer in high school, he is invited to a party and falls in love with Louis, a boy in his class. They find themselves out of sight and... See full summary »
A young man returns to his family farm, after a long stay in ex-gay conversion therapy, and is torn between the expectations of his emotionally distant father, and the memories of a past, loving relationship he has tried to bury.
Ibrahim, a 14-year-old Moroccan boy, walks down a road in the outskirts of a big city alone and disoriented. Recently informed that he will be deported in two days, he packed his belongings and ran away. He is now alone with no place to go.
Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.
Generally absent French army rescue helicopter pilot Nathan Delille's teen son Damien Delille is the model student in his Alpine village school. He takes self-defense lessons from veteran neighbor Paolo, needed as non-provoking victim of class bully Thomas Chardoul, doting adopted son of petty cattle farmers Jacques and Christine Chardoul. Unaware and questioning that Damien is the innocent party when the principal, who guessed right, thus punishes both as fighters, his mother, local Dr. Marianne Delille, takes Thomas in after diagnosing his mother pregnant. The boys are forced to play friends, fight in secret, yet bond over confidences as closet gay Damien's grades slip due to a crush on Tom, who takes over a class champion ta-hanks to home tutoring. They are separated as their now irrelevant fights come out, yet reunite intimately after a family tragedy.Written by
In 'Being Seventeen' we meet Damien (Kacey Mottet Klein), who is surprised when his mother Marianne (Sandrine Kiberlain) calmly accepts his declaration of sexual attraction to a classmate. But why would she be surprised? Damien's candy-coloured rhinestone earring hardly shouts 'macho man'. But it is fair to say he is not the stereotypical film closeted homosexual: he enthusiastically takes boxing lessons from a friend of his army pilot father; and he is not even sure whether it is men generally he is attracted to, or just that particular classmate: Thomas (played by male model Corentin Fila).
The trouble with Damien's attraction to Thomas is that the latter bullies the former. But when Marianne, the local doctor in the Pyrenean community, hospitalises Thomas' weak, pregnant mother, she invites him to stay with her and Damien, and so the two boys are thrown together...
There are occasions when this film loses the way: Damien and Thomas are plainly the centre of the story, so sequences focusing exclusively on Marianne seem pointless and add little to the main story. But Kiberlain certainly provides a decent performance as the friendly mother who chats happily to the boys while serving them a glass of after-school wine (did I mention this is a French film?), before a personal tragedy means she must pull her life back together. Fila and Klein are given likable characters to play - Thomas concerned by his mother's condition; Damien the bully's victim - and also turn in good performances.
But the best aspect for me is the scenery: director André Téchiné gets the best of filming in the Pyrénées, with the endless snow-covered mountains (most of the filming seems to have taken place during the depths of winter) gradually giving way to deep, verdant valleys as the film and seasons progress. But it is not just a travelogue - this film is well worth seeing for its take on awakening sexuality.
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