Skip to content

#InsideOut21 Review: Ma Belle, My Beauty

May 29, 2021

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

The 2021 Inside Out Film Festival is running virtually from May 27th to June 6th, all films are available to stream for audiences across Ontario

Set against the luscious backdrop of the South of France, writer-director Marion Hill’s sensual debut feature Ma Belle, My Beauty explores the aftermath of a polyamorous relationship between three people, and the residual feelings that still exist between two of the partners.

Lane (Hannah Pepper) used to be involved with singer Bertie (Idella Johnson) and musician Fred (Lucien Guignard). But their relationship ended when Bertie and Fred got married and moved away to France to form a band, and Lane stayed in New Orleans. When Fred invites Lane for a surprise visit, old tensions and passions reemerge between her and Bertie, feelings that are complicated by the presence of Noa (Sivan Noam Shimon), a young Isreali artist that Lane hooks up with.

While the film seeks to explore bisexuality and polyamory in a refreshingly open way, it also shies away from directly addressing some of the specific complexities of this unique situation. Elements of the plot are underdeveloped. Fred’s role in particular feels underwritten, being presented as sort of the wedge that came between Lane and Bertie, but not really being fleshed out beyond that.

But the sensory pleasures of Ma Belle, My Beauty are still enough to recommend it. Hill’s film, which just won the NEXT Audience Award at Sundance, is one of those movies that luxuriates in extended scenes showing its characters enjoying enjoying wine, food and good conversation. Watching it feels like spending a lazy few days in the French countryside, with a simmering sexual tension to it that can’t be denied. This is heightened by a jazzy score arranged by Mahmoud Chouki, and warm cinematography by Lauren Guiteras that captures the natural beauty of the film’s setting.

Idella Johnson and Hannah Pepper in Ma Belle, My Beauty

Ma Belle, My Beauty premieres on May 29th at 8:00 PM, and will be available to stream until June 6th at 11:59 PM. Tickets and more information can be found right here.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: