The winning performances and Haapasalo’s careful attention to them help to compensate for the sometimes frustratingly fragmented nature of the storytelling.
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Girl Picture is sweet, tender, and frequently amusing: a love letter to that time we ache to leave in the rearview mirror but which shapes who we are and how we love more than anything else.
Even when this film is a bit too neat, it’s still totally irresistible.
In spite of the movie’s tropes, Haapasalo clearly understands that, when you’re young, desire can feel confusing or gratifying, thrilling or overwhelming. In her snapshot of contemporary girlhood, Haapasalo contains all of the above — making the movie an affecting achievement that never feels less than loving.
The otherwise low-stakes drama is so invested in their emotional state that the lows are bottomless, while the highs have no ceiling. Haapasalo plucks this tiny three-week period from the ether and every filmmaking trick in her quiver allows us to relish in it.
A joyous, resonant snapshot of growing into one’s own, and challenging even your own expectations of who you thought you could be.