Film festival: Ma Vie en Rose

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The Independent Culture
Ma Vie en Rose

Candy-coloured and kitsch, 's slickly styled study of sexual identity is seen through the eyes of Ludovic, a winsome seven-year-old boy convinced he will grow up to be a girl.

Chosen as the Gala film to open the festival, Belgian director Alain Berliner's debut feature drolly caricatures the conformity of family life in Paris's suburbs, where fathers leave for work in matching cars and wives stay home in identikit houses. For Ludovic, it's a landscape only slightly more real than the dream world of his feminine fantasies: a plastic kingdom ruled by his role-model, a life-size Barbie doll called Pam. But when Ludovic's femme antics cause neighbours to close ranks against his family, Ludovic's rose-tinted spectacles begin to clear.

Deftly balancing humour and pathos, Berliner elicits an impressive central performance from the young lead Georges du Fresne, while Vander Stappen's script shows a keen ear for how a hostile community pays lip-service to sexual difference. The result is an airtight "issue" movie that offers a PC plea so glossy it could be a pop-promo for tolerance.

Filmhouse 1, Thu 14 Aug