As this year’s Glasgow Film Festival comes to a close, it brings us to the precipice of spring where the world becomes that little bit brighter. And with that the closing film, Spring Blossom, though it doesn’t quite shine bright enough as hoped.
The film isn’t lacking ambition as Suzanne Lindon proves by not only starring as the lead, ‘Suzanne’, but also on writing as well as directing duties. It is a remarkable achievement in of itself in what is its UK premiere as well as Lindon’s feature debut in all three departments.
There is a certain self-assured feel to Lindon’s performance with her natural screen presence. Set in Paris the story follows the life of a teenager who we instantly get a sense is disconnected on a level from those in her circle, even her life to a degree, until she catches a glimpse of Raphael (Arnaud Valois), an actor at a local theatre who is struggling professionally.
That disconnect is not the standard social awkwardness of being a teen but instead a character who appears comfortable and at ease as a loner. From here we see a spark of young love that initially has a hint of charm but delves into the trope of teen infatuation and even verging on voyeuristic. How Lindon handles the subject of forbidden love between the two is done so with skill and flirts with crossing the line.
Although both characters are in literal different stages of their lives there is the interesting theme that despite this they are connected in that they both are at an impasse in their lives. Though it is in this central relationship where the film falls short. In parts their interactions can be downright uncomfortable and this feeling is common throughout.
In one scene, for example, Suzanne asks her father (Frédéric Pierrot) if he prefers women in skirts or trousers. All of this plays out in the calming and beautiful backdrop of the streets of Paris, which adds to the films general aesthetic and is shot in an organic way that is striking.
There is a surreal element to it all from an unexpected, well choreographed, dance routine of sorts from both at a cafe that is oddly captivating. They are lost and comfort one another in a sense but there is an uneasiness as the relationship develops.
Even as the story progresses it never really feels like it takes off and is on the cusp of reaching that next gear but never makes it there. For what is a short runtime you feel it as it is generally quite flat from the offset where it becomes a chore to watch.
Of course, this is debut for Lindon on this front so there is promise but more time to develop the script would have no doubt been beneficial.