Despite its bland paperback title, French writer-director Stéphane Demoustier proves hasty assumptions wrong with his gripping, thoughtful third feature, courtroom drama The Girl with a Bracelet.
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The Girl With a Bracelet comments intelligently on our culture’s propensity to sex-shame and emotionally instruct young women in particular — points which stand regardless of whether shedunnit or not.
What Demoustier has done here, and done quite successfully, is taken a basic mystery plot, like something out of a TV movie, and used it to ponder how each one of us could react to a ghastly crime, and how we expect others to react in turn.
The Girl with a Bracelet is a clever, relevant film which makes you question the way society expects young women to behave.
Viewers may be split on the question of exactly how satisfying it all is in the end. The performances are strong.
Demoustier dangles doubts, but also raises questions about the difference between judgment and justice. The score acts as our guide through the story: neat, self-possessed string arrangements occasionally fray into something jagged, raw-edged and nervy.