Film review: Paradise: Hope (15)
Completing a trilogy begun with Love and continued in Faith, this is the gentlest and most amenable of Ulrich Seidl's dramas of female sexuality. Thirteen-year-old Melanie (Melanie Lenz) is spending the summer at an Austrian diet camp where "discipline" is the watchword for the tubby teen inmates.
In defiance of the track-suited martinet who teaches gym, Melanie plays spin-the-bottle with her friends and launches midnight raids on the kitchen, though it's her growing attraction to the camp's suave middle-aged doctor (Joseph Lorenz) that really spells trouble.
Seidl's symmetrical compositions and elliptical narrative have an odd way of building tension; we are never quite sure how far this Lolita-haunted romance is preparing to go. One creepy scene in a forest seems to be a prelude to some awful violation, and yet it arrives at an unexpected conclusion.
The heartbreak of Melanie's forlorn phone calls home is that her absent mother, Teresa, is running her own gauntlet of humiliation as a sex tourist in Kenya, bringing the trilogy full circle.
That title isn't entirely ironic, though, as Seidl offers a small, diet-size portion of hope that innocence isn't always betrayed – and that bullying isn't always the destiny of the overweight kid.
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Geoffrey Macnab: The Wolf of Wall Street's account of white-collar excess is A Rake’s Progress on steroids
scienceThe new development in bio-printing technology could be used in the future to restore lost vision - though years of research still await
architectureThe design collective which has stuck two fingers up at the modernists will call it quits at Venice
... But if you’re one of those poor souls offended by Jennifer Lopez’s choice of leotard, Grace Dent wants you to get a bloody grip
Arts & Ents blogs
Brian Griffin returns: Cartoon dog back from the dead in Family Guy Christmas episode
Matthew Perry: He'll be there for you
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
FAT’s all folks: Architecture’s biggest jokers sign off in style
Shia LaBeouf apologises for plagiarising cartoonist's story for Cannes short film
- 1 Facebook 'self-censorship': study records when you don't post to find more ways to share
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 British prisoner Dr Abbas Khan found dead in Syrian jail days before he was due to be handed over to MP George Galloway
- 4 Vitamin pills are a waste of money, offer no health benefits and could be harmful - study
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >