Packable Down Jacket
Director Benoit Jacquot has more than two dozen movies to his credit, but few have been distributed in the United States. His 1995 film, A Single Girl, is centered on Virginie, a young woman who confronts both psycho-sexual balances of power between the sexes and economic balances of power between classes. In that sense, Virginie might be the cousin of Lili, the central figure in Jacquot's current release, A Tout de Suite. The films are also connected by Jacquot's compelling interest in the New Wave--films of Godard, Truffaut, and Rohmer. A Tout de Suite, shot in somewhat grainy black-and-white and placed in 1974, evokes the feel and the sensibility of the New Wave while retaining a decidedly contemporary tone.
Unlike his interesting, but somewhat diffuse Seventh Heaven, Jacquot stays tightly focused in A Tout de Suite, drawing a vibrantly complex portrait of Lili. The other characters remain undeveloped, functioning to advance the narrative and to provide Lili a context. At 19, she is an art student, living with her emotionally distant father in the bourgeois comfort of a large Paris apartment. She's had an affair, unsatisfying, she says, in being only about sex. She's independent and strong-willed, but still unformed in her direction; frustrated with the status quo, she's ripe for a breakout.