drama | NR | 2hr 10min
Opening at GFC: 12/13/2019
With this poignant contribution to the classic coming-of-age genre, French-Canadian director Philippe Lesage perfectly captures the tightrope walk of teenagers discovering love and navigating the rapids between hope and disappointment, exhilaration and shame. The film initially follows two storylines, focused on siblings Guillaume and Charlotte as they explore their romantic and sexual needs: Guillaume finds himself falling in love with his best friend Nicolas, while Charlotte breaks up with her clueless boyfriend and falls in with an older, dangerously appealing guy. While Guillaume’s subsequent ostracism and Charlotte’s abuse at the hands of an unscrupulous man are described with a richness of specific details, their pain is universally relatable. Then with a surprise third act, Lesage moves back in time to tell the story of a summer camp flirtation between young Felix and Beatrice, creating a wistful picture of the innocence preceding Guillaume and Charlotte’s disenchantment. While Genesis’s greatest strength lies in its vulnerable lead performances and emotional honesty, Lesage is also a top-rate stylist whose saturated colors evoke the warm palette of home movies, adding a layer of exquisitely painful nostalgia to this bittersweet teenage symphony.
Noée Abita, Théodore Pellerin, Jules Roy-Sicotte
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