Friday, August 5, 2011

Student Services (2010)

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)
Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Emmanuelle Bercot
Starring: Déborah François, Mathieu Demy, Alain Cauchi, Benjamin Siksou, Anna Sigalevitch
Duration: 108 min.
Rating: 6.5 

Laura, 19, a first-year university student, desperately wants to do well in school. Despite a part-time job, she is unable to make ends meet and becomes so short of funds that one desperate evening, having run out of options, she goes so far as to answer an ad on the Internet. 'Joe, 57, seeks female student for tender moments. One hundred euros an hour.' Just this once, she promises herself. Three days later, Laura is in a hotel room with Joe. And the spiral begins.

Student Services is a film directed by Emmanuelle Bercot, based on an anonymously written autobiographical French novel.  It is currently available to watch through Netflix' instant streaming service.

It tells the story of Laura, a broke 19 year old university student who resorts to prostitution to make ends meet, played by the lovely and talented Déborah François, who I've been a fan of since her debut in the Dardenne brothers' 2005 Palme d'Or winning film L'enfant; and she puts on a brave and convincing performance here, as a naive character who seems to make one bad decision after another, and ends up in some disturbing and very explicit situations that are quite difficult to watch.

Unfortunately the screenplay lacks proper character development, never really convincing us why this is her only choice, and it's also frustrating to see Laura repeat the same mistakes again and again.  Also the supporting cast are all cardboard cutouts, everyone she encounters are either creepy old men, or deadbeat boyfriends.

Along with François' performance, it does have a pretty good soundtrack with standout tracks by The Walkmen, Blonde Redhead, and Soap&Skin,that keep this from being a total write-off.

Bonjour Tristesse

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)

Student Services / Mes chères études (2010)


Bonjour Tristesse said...

Actually... If you saw the screenshots that didn't pass the censorship test, I sure you would have chosen an entirely different expression.

shutterbug said...

It does sound interesting, but if it doesn't have the character development, the story pretty much goes nowhere! 

Moviemonstrosityblog said...

Story is interesting but thats all :p

Hoi-Ming Ng said...

Awww, without character development what does it have left? And I know I won't be able to stand watching someone  "repeat the same mistakes again and again"

d_4 said...

Shame. I guess I wasn't expecting too much anyway, but I always like being proven wrong from my initial reaction.

The Angry Lurker said...

Thanks for that.

FrontRoomCinema said...

Although the story sounds intriguing I guess I will pass on this one BT. Doesn't seem to have anything that I would want to get my teeth into!!

Have a great weekend my friend

Bonjour Tristesse said...

My thoughts exactly.

Texas Film Fan said...

This is a great film for those who want to delve into an intricate psychological film. The story itself is not complete, but it was meant to be incomplete.

francois=no credibility said...

Lovely and talented actresses don't do this kind of softcore disguised as a drama, junk. There is nothing brave to appear gratuitous sex and nude scenes, it is just cheap.

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