Therese and Isabelle Review
By Christopher Null
Ah, young love. How could it be better? Well, if it's two young girls, duh!
Essy Persson's Therese arrives at prep school, full of wide-eyed inquisitiveness and, well, a little curiosity. We aren't 20 minutes into the film before she's tailing Isabelle (Anna Gaël) and poking her head into lesbianism. Not much, unfortunately, comes of this outside of the expected mushy gushy feelings that develop and the inevitable scandal it creates in the school. Told in flashback from a now older Therese as she wanders the halls of the school, Radley Metzger develops a story with substantial grace and beauty (best seen in an immortal shot of Persson raising her head to peer out over Gaël's bare ass), but not much substance.
Provencial attitudes toward woman-woman relationships have been explored in umpteen films to date, and Metzger's film is one of the earliest examples of it. It isn't one of the best -- check out Heavenly Creatures for that (but don't get started on how they weren't really lesbians) -- but it's worth a peek.
Included as part of The Radley Metzger Collection with The Alley Cats and Camille 2000.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Wednesday 18th June 1969
Distributed by: First Run Features
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 4
Cast & Crew