The Girl with a Bracelet (15) Close-Up Film Review

Dir: Stephane Demoustier, France 2019, 95 mins.

Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Roschdy Zem, Melissa Guers

Review by Carlie Newman

Sometimes a film is so beautifully constructed that you overlook the obvious inconsistencies in the story. And so it is with The Girl with a Bracelet. A well-written script by Director, Stephane Demoustier, leads you to believe one thing and then to suddenly be shown another incident which completely blindsides you. The movie progresses in this ambiguous manner.

It starts simply enough with a family on the beach: mother, father and their young son and teenage daughter. Suddenly police arrive and the daughter is arrested. We see all this viewed from afar. Strangely there are no questions and no resistance from the girl as she leaves with the police.

Forward two years and Lise, the teenage daughter (Melissa Guers), who is now 18, is about to go on trial for the horrific murder of her best friend, Flora. On remand, Lise is given a tag to wear on her ankle. Thus, we have The Girl with a Bracelet. While her father, Bruno (Roschdy Zem), coaches her for when she is in the dock, her mother (Chiara Mastroianni) appears more detached. Bruno accompanies his daughter to the court each day of the trail, but mother pleads too busy with work and stays away until near the end.

Lise’s parents are astonished to learn that their daughter is what is termed ‘loose.’ Her casual lifestyle is completely unknown to them and they are unhappy when she is exposed in court. The court seems to be addressing Lise’s morals rather than focusing on the murder. Lise gives brief replies in court and is almost without emotion until the end.

The film is most certainly enhanced by the lovely musical score of Carla Palone. It’s a fascinating courtroom drama which is beautifully acted by Melissa Guers in particular. Having just seen Chiara Mastroianni in the main role in the comedy, On A Magical Night, it is interesting to see her in the very different role of a mother in this movie. We can note her special heritage – mother, Catherine Deneuve and father, Marcello Mastroianni – which show that she has inherited their talent.

The Girl with a Bracelet is available on Curzon Home Cinema from now.