We quickly understand why Slalom, which comes out on May 19 for the reopening of theaters, was selected at the Cannes Film Festival 2020. On the subject of sexual harassment in the world of sport under the spotlight of the news, here alpine skiing, Charlène Favier signs a first film promising and full of nuances.
At the age of 15, Lyz joined the prestigious ski-study section of Bourg-Saint-Maurice led by Fred, a former champion, now a demanding and inflexible trainer. He is betting everything on his new recruit and, galvanized, Lyz invests himself body and soul. Under this influence, success is there, but at what cost?
What talent ! Charlène Favier wins Jérémie Renier for her first film and reveals Noée Abita, seen in The Great Bath, in a role where the ambiguity is played out between her vocation as a champion and her shift into a relationship where trust is mixed, violates her integrity, and success. A delicate dosage, mastered by a director already in full possession of her means.
Charlène Favier perfectly sets the framework for her subject: high school, students, training, the personality of Fred, their trainer, which Jérémier Renier interprets with his multifaceted talent. The timing of his slip is skilfully orchestrated to transcribe his fascination for his champion, whom he wants to believe in love with him.
Charlène Favier does not fail to describe the coach in his life as a couple, a reassuring environment but that the passion for his young revelation will explode. His hold on Lys becomes the focus of the film and the staging switches to expressionist lighting à la Dario Argento (Suspiria), contrasted with red and blue, which give the film a touch of thriller, if not fantastic.
Slalom puts all the cards on the table: the coach, obsessed with her champion, the young skier, carried away by her success. Where does consent begin and end, when one person with authority status seduces another? The end, falsely open, brings a subtle response, again the mark of a demanding director. Remarkable.
Kind : Drama
Director : Charlène Favier
Actors : Noée Abita, Jérémie Renier, Marie Denarnaud
Country : France / Belgium
Duration : 1h32
Exit : December 16, 2020
Distributor : Day2Feast
Synopsis : Lyz, 15, has just joined a prestigious ski-study section of the Lycée de Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Fred, ex-champion and now trainer, decides to bet everything on his new recruit. Galvanized by her support, Lyz puts her heart and soul into it, both physically and emotionally. She continues the successes but quickly falls under the absolute influence of Fred …