After dropping a flower on the ground from the 15th floor, Yvette asks her husband Armand to go and get it for her. When he goes down there he finds a wounded young woman on the ground and takes her with him. The old couple takes care of her and give her a place to stay for the night, but they both start to like her and dream about her.
When I first heard of this movie I didn't really know at all what it was. Hell, I didn't even know the title of it! All I know was that a screener copy was coming my way, of "a short film". Fine, I thought. Although names such as Franco, Metzger and Rollin were mentioned. "Toutes les jeunes filles sont en fleur" (which I believe translates "All the girls are in bloom", but the movie itself went with the alternative title "Young Girls in Flowers") is actually in a league of its own. At least I wouldn't put it in with the other guys, although if I had to choose it would be somewhere between Metzger and Rollin - it shares the fine artistic values and poetic feeling.
It starts with an old couple in an apartment building. The old man, Armand, is looking through binoculars at the neighbors on the other side. The old woman, Yvette, is fiddling about with her flowers. And she accidently drops one and they are many stories up. Armand has to go down and get it because it's late and you never know who is ready to attack you. When he comes down he finds a young girl on the ground, wounded and unconscious. He carries her up to their place and they take care of her for the night. The next day there seems to be something a bit off - the old couple is feeling attracted to her, in one way or another. And they begin to dream about her.
For a 27 minutes short, which actually can be too long for some short films, this felt like it was way shorter. It hooked you from the start with the couple, and when the beautiful young lady was brought into the mix it got that much better. The film is a strange and dream-like erotic fantasy, of sorts. It never quite seems like what is happening is real, rather that it's either in someone's head, in a dream, or in fantasy. Which is very interesting considering there's nothing in the movie that suggests it's unreal other than the three short dream sequences (and we're warned before they start).
The acting is very good - it's all about the three characters. Yvette is the dominant role and quickly steals the scenes she's in, while the man mostly seems confused and, well, old. He goes with the flow. The young girl (her name escapes me at the moment) is a quiet and accepting girl, at times she seems happy with getting to stay there and being taken care of. Even when things starts feeling more.. perverse. But is it all a fasade?
A fairly gutsy and perverted short film without resorting to being a graphic and disgusting film (which it easily could've been, had it gone further). It never really gets out of hand and stays pretty calm. But it's all the more confusing for the audience, and we get into the mindset of the characters by simply watching them and it's very effective. A highly recommended short film that shows lots of promise of the director Sébastien Babeux. If he continues making movies like this I honestly believe he will be a name to hold close to heart for any arthouse fan. He balances the story perfectly and has you second-guessing everything, and does it with such fine moves. Intellectual without being pretentious, erotic without being pure smut, artistic because of its content rather than visual style, and topped off with good acting.