Review: The New Girlfriend

Anaïs Demoustier in "The New Girlfriend"

The New Girlfriend is a French film. The original title is Une nouvelle amie. I watch many foreign movies but I don’t always write about them here, because I know most people aren’t particularly interested in foreign films and they don’t like reading subtitles.

This one deals with themes that are important to me, so I’m going to talk about it. My review will be very guarded about spoilers, because I don’t want to reveal anything. This movie is one you need to discover as you watch. I was completely enthralled by The New Girlfriend.

Romain Duris in The New Girlfriend
Romain Duris as David

At the beginning of the film Laura dies. She is the lifelong friend of Claire. Laura’s husband David is left with an infant to raise. Claire and her husband Gilles offer support.

The New Girlfriend stars Anaïs Demoustier as Claire, Romain Duris as David, Raphaël Personnaz as Gilles, and Isild Le Besco as Laura.

Spoiler Free

The reason I intend to be spoiler free with this review is the film is a cat and mouse game for the viewer. Surprising reveals and turns characterize the storytelling.

Themes revolve around gender identity, sexuality, grief, friendship, and love. As important as grieving is to what the people in this film are experiencing, it’s grief viewed through a lens of gender and sexual fluidity.

Nothing goes as you expect it to go. Relationships develop in unpredictable ways. It’s part linear story, part remembrance, part dreamscape, part hallucination.

Since I’ve been thinking a great deal about gender identity in recent months, this film both fascinated and repelled me.Since I’ve been thinking a great deal about gender identity in recent months, this film both fascinated and repelled me. Everything about my own learning process is reflected in The New Girlfriend.

The film was directed by François Ozon based on a short novel by Ruth Rendell. It was released in 2015. It’s currently available from Amazon Video and other streaming sources.

If you watch this film, please share your thoughts about it in the comments.

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