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Keeper

1h 35m Drama, Youth 2015

NO LONGER AVAILABLE

A realist film from Belgium about teenagers dealing with an unexpected pregnancy might not immediately spark your interest. However, you’d be foolish to miss this small gem from director Guillaume Senez, which delivers with an intense honesty and immediacy that is at times breath-taking and ultimately very moving. Middle-class 15-yr-old Maxime is a promising and ambitious goalkeeper, fully expecting to be recognised by a major-league team and to be given a professional contract. He’s intensely in love with working-class girlfriend Mélanie, but somewhat derailed when she announces that she is pregnant. At first the couple try to shrug off the news, having not fully grasped the implications, and a stand-off threatens when Max, supported by his mother, expresses his wish to keep the baby, while Mélanie’s mother – herself once a teenage mum – is insistent about an abortion. Mélanie herself is less decisive, unable to grasp the enormity of things when her doctor emphasises that the choice is hers alone.

Senez reveals himself, in his debut feature, as a director of remarkable sensitivity and finely-balanced discrimination. He doesn’t moralise or judge, but keeps his fine actors (Kacey Mottet Klein as Max in particular) on a long lead at all times, allowing the characters and situations to develop organically and fully. It’s rare to find a film which understands the complicated impulses and divided loyalties of teenage lives, but here is perhaps the finest example of recent years. The goalie’s a keeper, the girl’s a keeper, the baby’s a keeper – so, decidedly, is the film.

Director

Guillaume Senez

Screenwriter

Guillaume Senez

Cinematography

Denis Jutzeler

Language

French

Subtitles

English

Countries

Belgium, Switzerland, France

Studio

Be For Films

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