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À ma sœur! is a 2001 French drama film written and directed by Catherine Breillat, and starring Anaïs Reboux and Roxane Mesquida. It was released in some English-speaking countries under the alternative titles For My Sister, Fat Girl and Story of a Whale.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Catherine Breillat|
|Produced by||Jean-François Lepetit|
|Written by||Catherine Breillat|
Libero De Rienzo
|Music by||Pierluigi Balducci|
Aldo De Palma
|Cinematography||Yorgos Arvanitis, A.F.C.|
|Edited by||Pascale Chavance|
|Distributed by||Rézo Films (France)|
Istituto Luce (Italy)
Anaïs and her older sister, Elena, are vacationing with their parents on the French seaside. Bored of staying in their vacation home, the two walk into town while discussing relationships and their virginity. Although the highly attractive Elena has been promiscuous, she is saving herself for someone who loves her, while heavy-set, overweight Anaïs thinks it is better to lose one's virginity to a "nobody" just to get it over with.
They meet an Italian law student, Fernando, at a cafe. While Elena flirts with him, Anaïs orders a banana split. Later, Fernando sneaks into the girls' bedroom for a liaison with Elena. Anaïs is awake and watches their entire interaction. After a conversation about Fernando's previous relationships with other women, Elena consents to have sex with him, but backs out at the last minute. Frustrated, Fernando pressures her through various means, including threatening to sleep with some other woman just to alleviate himself. Finally, Elena is coerced into anal sex as a "proof of love", although it is obviously a painful experience for her.
In the morning, Fernando asks for oral sex from Elena before he leaves, but Anaïs has had enough and tells them to let her sleep in peace. The next day, the girls and Fernando go to the beach. Anaïs sits in the ocean in her new dress and sings to herself while Elena and Fernando go off alone together. Later, as the girls are reminiscing about their childhood together back at the house, Elena reveals that Fernando has given her a mauve opal engagement ring while at the beach. That night, Elena gives up her virginity to Fernando as Anaïs silently cries on the other side of the room.
Later, Fernando's mother arrives at the house that Anaïs and her family are renting, asking for the girl's mother to return the mauve opal ring. Their mother discovers Elena's and Fernando's relationship, and angrily decides to drive back to Paris. On the way back, she becomes tired and decides to sleep at a rest stop, where an axe murderer arrives, killing Elena with an axe and strangling her mother. He takes Anaïs into the woods and rapes her. When the police arrive the next morning, Anaïs insists he did not rape her.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 73% based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "The controversial Fat Girl is an unflinchingly harsh but powerful look at female adolescence." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 77 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Fat Girl was banned in Ontario by the Ontario Film Review Board in late 2001 due to objections regarding the frank representation of teenage sexuality. American film critic Wheeler Winston Dixon noted that the film was not only banned in Ontario, but was "severely restricted to adult audiences throughout the world". Dixon described the film as a "harrowing tale of a 13-year-old girl's coming of age as her 15-year-old sister embarks on a series of sexual relationships", featuring "explicit sexual scenes" in a "brutal narrative structure." The ban in Canada was eventually overturned and the film played in several theatres in 2003.
- "Fat Girl (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- "Fat Girl (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- "Fat Girl Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- Wheeler Winston Dixon, 2003, Wallflower Press, London and New York, Visions of the Apocalypse: Spectacles of Destruction in American Cinema, Retrieved November 28, 2014, ISBN 1-903364-74-4 (paperback) ISBN 1-903364-38-8 (hardcover), see page 112, lines 5-10