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Parents' Guide to

Summer of 85

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

French teen drama has strong language, suicide references.

Movie NR 2021 101 minutes
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Is It Any Good?

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Based on the British YA novel Dance on My Grave by Aidan Chambers, director François Ozon transports this coming-of age drama to a French seaside town in the 1980s. Summer of 85 has a strong sense of nostalgia with songs from the likes of The Cure and Rod Stewart only adding to the feeling of a time gone by. Even without the framing device, which quickly establishes David's death and some connection to Alexis, it is never really in question that the romance will end in tears. The angelic innocent falling for the bad boy is nothing new.

But the chemistry between Lefebvre and Voisin is natural and intense in equal measure, as the pair hurtle toward the inevitable end with rose-tinted sunglasses and a devil-may-care smile. Sunny, dreamy location shots and intimate performances combine with flashes of humor and a hovering tension in what is a beautifully told, if slightly unoriginal, queer romance that should appeal as much to teens as older generations.

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