Stella

2008 [FRENCH]

Action / Drama

6
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 74%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 1454

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 09, 2021 at 06:26 AM

Cast

Karole Rocher as Roselyne, la mère de Stella
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
944.77 MB
1280*700
fre 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S 0 / 7
1.9 GB
1904*1040
fre 5.1
NR
24 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Chris Knipp 9 / 10

Director's autobiographical portrait of her 11th year really sings

It's 1977 and Stella Vlaminck begins her first year in a prestigious Parisian secondary school. Home for her is a boisterous working class café on the edge of Paris. This is a chance. Can she make it? That's the premise of this buoyant, touching autobiographical film by Sylvie Verheyde, which has to be one of the best movies made from the point of view of a pre-teen girl. It's on a par with Julie Gavras's very fine young girl's political biography, Blame It on Fidel, and depicts its family with the same unwavering eye.

To understand why this is such a terrific movie, begin with Lóra Barbara, the young actress who plays Stella, who's superb. Sometimes she's plain. Sometimes she's lovely. Sometimes she seems tiny. Sometimes she's big. Always, she's present. And she narrates (a device that's seamless and delicate, guiding us often but never intruding).

The essence of the story is that though Stella happens to find her one friend in Gladys (Melisa Rodrigues), a more middle-class girl from an intellectual Argentinian Jewish family, and Gladys is the best student in her class, Stella finds out she doesn't know a lot of things she needs to know. She knows about pinball and cards and pop music and TV and football and how a bar is run. European history and Greek mythology, Balzac and Cocteau are a mystery to her. And at first she doesn't care, and she comes home with all F's. Her father (played charismatically by cool singer-songwriter Benjamin Biolay) is sexy, and well-liked and her mom (Karole Rocher) runs the café and is good looking. They're "stars" in the neighborhood. But she's angry and sad and is two-timing him with one of the regulars, and dad drinks too much and is weak. Her older brother Loïc (Johan Libereau) tries to help, but can't. Very kind to Stella is another local, Bubu (Jeannick Gravelines), but his motives turn out to be ugly indeed.

Under Gladys' influence, Stella begins to read. Marguerite Duras and Balzac become her friends. But they don't yet help her in French class, where the teacher finds her spelling utterly pathetic.

Life at the café is entertaining to come home to. And there's Alain-Bernard (Guillaume Depardieu, sadly, dead four months ago at 37), the kind, charismatic regular Stella's got a crush on. She plays cards, and is good. She plays the pinball machine with Alain-Bernard too. There's always something going on. It's fun, but it's chaotic, and it distracts Stella from studying, or keeps her from going early to bed. There is TV to watch (Gladys' family don't have one; they're "against" it). Sometimes the working-class patrons seem more childish than the bourgeois kids at the school, whose teachers are imperious and demanding gatekeepers of French high culture. This is a contrast to the present-day 'banlieue' school depicted so accurately in Cantet's recent prizewinner, The Class. No teacher is going to bend to Stella. Some of the teachers are abusive and throw tantrums--or throw a kid's stuff out the window.

In the summer Stella's parents dump her off somewhere in the country with her grandmother, her father's mother, who steals from the till when she visits them in Paris. At school, Stella's a hick, a nothing, not too smart and not too cool. In the country, she's "rich," because from Paris. But here too she's a misfit because her only friend is a girl with a retarded brother and a nasty scary alcoholic dad, Genvieve (Laetitia Guerard), who herself is shunned by most of the other kids in the northern French village.

Verheyde shows a masterly ability to film all these milieus and make them seem like it's just happening and the camera's a fly on the wall. The cinematography by Nicolas Gaurin is light as a feather. This filmmaker creates a turbulent world, yet knows how to stop and let her story breathe. There were many moments that reminded me why I love French cinema.

Stella opened November 12, 2008 in Paris to excellent reviews. There's not much you can say against this film, though some thought the screenplay ought to have been less episodic. Shown as part of the Rendez-Vous at Lincoln Center March 2009. No US distributor, but this is highly recommended. 103 minutes.

Reviewed by yris2002 8 / 10

Stella: the difficulty and the beauty of growing up

This French movie reminds me of an Italian movie, "Diari", I have recently reviewed and appreciated so much for its intelligence in portraying the world of the teens. "Stella", set in another context and in a different historical time, being it 1977 Paris and not contemporary Italy, shows that same intelligence, together with intensity. What I noticed and struck me in both movies is the perception that the emotional fragility and the sense of uneasiness proper of the young is always the same in any historical moment, but more striking is the fact that behind that world of uneasiness does always lie a world of confused and still emotionally fragile adults, who have grown old, but not grown up yet, adults by age but not by mind. "Diari" teaches that an encounter between the world of the adults and that of the adolescents is possible through care for others. In "Stella" does this encounter appear more difficult and painful, but in the end, a very moving and emotionally intense end, actually, the comforting idea emerges that children can forgive the mistakes of their parents in such a natural way. What both the young and the adults are looking for is just a single sign of care from others to give back mutually, and when there is love between these two, not so distant worlds, it is always possible to find the right time and space to start everything anew. Growing up has always been a difficult and hard path, but it is always worth setting out. Part of my emotional involvement was also due to the tender scenes of the first dances with a boy (accompanied by the still moving song "Ti amo" by Umberto Tozzi), which reminded me, with a touch of never embarrassing nostalgia, of my adolescent years. In the end, I would underline Guillaume Depardieu's performance as truly moving and intense, and also the actors playing Stella's parents are good and involving. I am happy that this movie, after having been censored to people under 14, has been later been recognized as suitable for all people, I think it's a movie that the teens could really appreciate and learn something from.

Reviewed by imanewmanfan 9 / 10

Insightful, emotional portrait of adolescence

I saw this film in Paris in 2008, and it was in my top two or three for the year. It tells the story of Stella, a girl who is on the cusp of adolescence, trying to navigate the difficult path we all must travel during this time.

Stella does not have the best guidance from her parents and, in reality, has to figure out a lot of things on her own: how to cope in school, with friends, with boys, with adults.

The movie has so many poignant scenes, but for me, none is as moving as the very last one. I will not give it away, but the last line, in my opinion, sums up the writer/director's viewpoint on this period of our lives in a simple and beautiful way. I wasn't the only one with tears in my eyes in the theater.

Stella narrates the film, and her voice is a powerful one. The actress who portrays her is absolutely amazing: so real, so unaffected. No "Hollywood" types in this movie. It all feels gritty and genuine. It is filmed with a sense of up-close and personal realism that is refreshing.

I have not seen a version with subtitles, so I can't comment on that aspect, and I don't know if this movie is going to be released widely in the U.S. (I have seen it playing selectively in NYC.) But if you have a chance to see it, run to the theater or rent it on DVD. It is one of the few films I have seen in recent years that has really stayed with me.

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