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"MARIE BAIE DES ANGES"
(1998) (Vahina Giocante, Frederic Malgras) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild None Minor Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Subtitled Drama: Two wayward French teens spend a tumultuous summer along the French Riviera.
PLOT:
Marie (VAHINA GIOCANTE) is a 15-year-old French girl who's spending her summer along the French Riviera. Something of a coastal Lolita, Maria likes to hang out with the many older American sailors stationed nearby, when not spending time with her French friends.

Orso (FREDERIC MALGRAS) is a troubled 17-year-old French delinquent who hangs out with other "lost boys" when not committing petty crimes. Drifting from one locale to the next, Orso desperately wants a handgun.

After a series of events bring them together, Marie and Orso eventually run off to their own little hidden paradise on a remote island. There, they spend their time cavorting about when not romancing each other. Orso's inherent need to get into trouble, however, soon leads to more tumultuous times for the two.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence including some sexual assaults, sexuality, language and teen lawlessness.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • VAHINA GIOCANTE plays a somewhat promiscuous French adolescent (15-years-old) who flirts and presumably sleeps with many older men.
  • FREDERIC MALGRAS plays an angry young thief (17-years-old) who robs homes, people, and shoots a younger boy.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 1 out of 10
    There's an old statistical saying -- which I'll paraphrase -- that if you put enough monkeys in front of enough typewriters (of course, now it would be computers) and gave them enough time, they'd eventually manage to unwittingly type out all of the great literary masterpieces the world has ever known. If the same applies to making films, Cheetah, Lancelot Link and the rest of their swinging buddies would easily stumble upon making a film better than "Marie Baie Des Anges."

    A French tale of two adolescents and their tumultuous summer around the French Riviera, this is frustratingly bad filmmaking at its best (or worst, depending on your view). As if helmed by an overeager, but uneducated simian crew, the film flips and flops all across the screen without making one grain -- let alone a "shaker-ful" -- of sense. Yes, movies are supposed to be stories told with pictures -- and this one contains many such snapshots -- but there's just no story.

    While some may find (or think they've found) some sort of symbolism amongst this train wreck of a movie, most audiences will leave the theater at the end (if they last that long) scratching their heads wondering what they had just seen. Nothing is ever explained and no attempt is made to inform the audience about anything occurring in the film. While young Marie may be ravishing in a Lolita type of way, and Orso is a troubled thug, there's nothing behind their facades. It's as if they were created by a second rate screenwriting program -- or at random by a bunch of banana breath filmmakers.

    Dialogue, characters, and scenes start and stop at random -- often without any connection to any other scene in the movie -- leaving moviegoers with absolutely no idea of what these seemingly random elements are supposed to mean. Beyond many jump cuts that appear within individual scenes (where the camera view suddenly jumps as if footage has been edited out of a moving shot), all of the disparate scenes -- that easily could have come from different movies and include odd material such as Grand Prix footage and a bizarre Gene Kelly tap dancing sailor homage -- are juxtaposed into one disjointed and extremely convoluted mess (much like this sentence...okay, I'll stop monkeying around).

    In keeping with the mangled plot (and I use that term loosely), the filmmakers never let us know much about the characters who come off as flimsy and superficial as the scenes in which they appear. Vahina Giocante and Frederic Malgras deliver initially intriguing performances, but writer/director Manuel Pradal doesn't allow us to know anything beyond their thinly spread, surface characteristics. The rest of the cast is even less developed than that (reportedly none are professional actors) and most aren't even identified by name.

    The film's visual sense, however, as supplied by cinematographer Christophe Pollock, is the only thing worth noting about the production. The Mediterranean along the French Riviera has rarely looked better, and at least its "eye candy" qualities partially sooth one's brain while searching for something meaningful regarding this film.

    In several scenes two huge triangular rock formations dominate the scenery and are described as legendary dorsal fins that kept the "Bay of Angels" (hence the title) safe from invasion due to a fear of enormous sharks. After about half of this film, one wishes those two sharks would finally show up, eat the performers -- or better yet, those silly chimps behind the camera -- and allow everyone to go home and leave this mess behind. If not for the cinematography, this product of the Higher Primate Film Institute would rate lower than the 1 out of 10 that we've so graciously given it.

    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Although it's doubtful many kids will want to see this film, here's a quick look at its content should they and/or you be interested in it. We twice see the main character shoot and presumably kill a younger boy, and a gang rape occurs off screen (but we do see the beginning of it). That scene, and another set in a club show bare-breasted women, and profanity is extreme with more than 15 "f" words said in English or read in English subtitles.

    All of the teen characters seem to live without any parental supervision and do whatever they want. As such Orso robs people and places, while Marie hangs out with -- and presumably sleeps with -- much older American soldiers. Marie also smokes a bit, and some underage drinking also occurs (but in France where it's more accepted).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A bunch of teens drink liquor straight from the bottle while on a bumper car ride.
  • An adult who's preparing to sell an underage boy a gun gives him what may be wine before the attempted transaction.
  • Some sailors drink beer, and in another scene drink while driving.
  • Marie, her friend, and some guys have wine in a club and there's some talk about Marie being drunk (but she's not visibly intoxicated).
  • Orso and Marie drink from an open bottle, and later drink what may be wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • After Orso shoots a younger boy who's swimming, red clouds of blood briefly drift up through the clear water (seen twice).
  • Orso has some bloody cuts on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Orso is a petty teenage thief who steals stuff from a woman's house and robs a restaurant at gunpoint. He also shoots (and presumably kills) a younger boy, and is somewhat involved with a gang rape of a woman.
  • Many sailors presumably have sex with the underage Marie and then don't want anything to do with her afterwards.
  • Marie presumably sleeps with many sailors, and does so with one just so that she can steal his gun.
  • An adult is going to sell a gun to a younger, underage boy, but the latter doesn't have enough money.
  • Some guys then steal that boy's money.
  • Some sailors try to get "romantic" with Marie and her friend while swimming (and the friend doesn't seem to want the advances).
  • Orso steals money from some American sailors' clothes.
  • A presumably drunk man goes up onto a stage and tries to accost some bare-breasted dancers.
  • A man throws his lit cigarette at Marie and her friend, who then retaliate by spitting on him.
  • Some guys chase and then surround Marie at night on their minibikes, and one states, "Rape her" (in subtitles), but after a moment they mysteriously leave.
  • Marie dances for a man and his son to distract them while Orso steals their boat.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • We twice see a scene where Orso points a gun at a younger boy who's swimming and ends up shooting the boy.
  • Two sailors chase and finally catch Orso who's stolen money from their clothes while they were swimming.
  • An odd scene (that's never explained or resolved) shows Marie and two guys swimming deep underwater. Suddenly Marie seems to be having problems and she thrashes about in the water, but the scene ends, and later we see her no worse for the wear (if it really happened).
  • Some men grab a bare-breasted woman in the shower and apparently gang rape her (we don't see this, but there's no question about what's happening, and later the reaction of the public confirms what they did).
  • Some guys chase and then surround Marie at night on their minibikes, and one states, "Rape her" (in subtitles), but after a moment they mysteriously leave.
  • Orso robs a restaurant at gunpoint (for a minute or so).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Sought after by Orso throughout the movie. At both the beginning and end of the film we see the same scene where Orso shoots (and presumably kills) a younger boy.
  • Marie finds a gun in a car's glove compartment and then proceeds to play with it for a while.
  • In another scene, Marie steals a gun from a sailor while he's sleeping, and later Orso shoots the gun into the ceiling of a home after he sees that he's being videotaped by a surveillance camera.
  • Handgun/Rifle: Orso uses a handgun to rob a restaurant, and when he leaves the owner fires a rifle at him, presumably hitting Marie who's passing by the window.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases (In English subtitles): "F*ck off," "Screw you," "Moron," "Piss off," "Idiot," "Nuts" (crazy), "Bastard," "Whore" and "Bitch" (what certain men call Marie), "Shut up," and in spoken English, "Bastard" and "Retard."
  • A man throws his lit cigarette at Marie and her friend, who then retaliate by spitting on him.
  • Some American sailors drink beer while driving.
  • Most of the teens in the movie act like "wild children" in that they do whatever they please, whenever they please.
  • Marie dances for a man and his son to distract them while Orso steals their boat.
  • Orso drinks some sort of liquor from the bottle and spills it all over himself while carrying a lit torch (a flammable combination).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of tense music occurs which is accompanied by some occasional ominous undertones.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 17 "f" words (2 used with "mother" and some read in English subtitles), 2 "s" words (in subtitles), 1 possible slang term for breasts (the "t" word), 3 asses (all used with "hole" and 1 in subtitles), and 2 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use of "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A sailor comments that he'd like to go "deep sea diving" (not of the marine variety) with Marie.
  • While both are riding on the back of a minibike, Orso continuously tries to run his hand up the inside of Marie's thigh (as well as nuzzling at her neck), and she eventually lets him.
  • We see some bare-breasted women dancing in a club.
  • Although we don't see anything sexual, Marie and a friend stay with some sailors in a hotel.
  • We see a bare-breasted woman (who's still got her bikini bottom on) taking a shower right before some men grab and gang rape her (we only see the grabbing part).
  • Some sailors comment that Marie has slept with many of them, but we don't see any activity.
  • We occasionally catch some glimpses of Marie's underwear when she dances in her short skirts, etc...
  • It's somewhat implied that Marie and Orso might have sex, but we never see any concrete evidence.
  • Marie sleeps with an American (not seen, but we do see her with him in a hotel room -- and he's sleeping in bed) just so that she can steal his gun for Orso.
  • SMOKING
  • Marie smokes a few times, as do the American sailors, and some guys on a train also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Why there appears to be no adult supervision for all these teens.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Orso shoots a younger boy who's swimming, presumably killing him (after we see the amount of blood in the water). We see this scene twice.
  • Two sailors chase and finally catch Orso who's stolen money from their clothes while they were swimming. One of them knocks Orso to the ground, but other than pinning him down there, they simply collect their money and leave.
  • Police swing their batons at -- and hit a few -- teens who are climbing over walls and fences to get into a soccer match.
  • Some men grab a bare-breasted woman in the shower and apparently gang rape her (we don't see this, but there's no question about what's happening, and later the reaction of the public confirms what they did).
  • Other men then grab Orso and proceed to hit and kick him for supposedly participating in the above.
  • Orso chases after a barber and punches him several times and then kicks him on the ground.
  • Some guys chase and then surround Marie at night on their minibikes, and one states, "Rape her" (in subtitles), but after a moment they mysteriously leave.
  • Orso uses a handgun to rob a restaurant (and threaten two people inside), and when he leaves the owner fires a rifle at him, presumably hitting Marie who's passing by the window (and injuring or killing her since we see later him carrying her limp or unconscious body).
  • Orso fires a gun into the ceiling of a home and at a security camera.



  • Reviewed July 31, 1998

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