Reinventing Marvin (Marvin ou la belle éducation)
Finnegan Oldfield, Isabelle Huppert, Grégory Gadebois
The new film from French director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel, The Innocents) is this compelling chronicle of a young gay man leaving the life he has known in order to become someone else; winner of the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2017.
Like The Innocents (2016), it showcases Fontaine’s skill in balancing complex subject matter with social relevance. Marvin Bijou (rising French star Finnegan Oldfield), a young boy from a working-class family in a small French village, suffers constant bullying at school and at home, from his alcoholic father (Grégory Gadebois), for being too sensitive and too feminine; euphemistically ‘different’. But a chance encounter with a drama teacher offers him the chance to leave and to escape not only his situation but his damaged sense of self. Following Marvin into his mid-twenties as a theatre student in Paris, the film becomes a richly layered tale about identity building, transformation and the power of self-determination.
Featuring an emotive cameo from Isabelle Huppert (playing herself) as well as great performances from Vincent Macaigne and Charles Berling, Reinventing Marvin is nonetheless powered by Oldfield’s star-making turn. A rewardingly compassionate drama showing how a painful coming of age may eventually yield confidence, freedom and creativity.