Milla Screen 8 articles



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  • The singular, intoxicating beauty of Massadian's images, carefully arranged and divided with layers of shifting light and contrasting texture, is a good fit for a narrative of surrender, in which Leo and Milla must make concessions to each other and the demands of everyday life. But the structural gamble Massadian makes halfway through faltered for me: the second half is overly indebted to mirroring and wringing significance out of the first half, sometimes without a clear dynamic of its own.

  • The inexhaustible pleasure of a cat’s inscrutable, unpredictable behavior and on-screen charisma is lovingly touched in Massadian’s somber drama of low-wage domestic loneliness. The cat is a touch of solace and spontaneity in a household haunted by a missing spouse.

  • In Massadian's hands, the minor and the major are one and the same... Rather than slotting into some sort of narrative arc or dramatic structure, each of these moments and the others like them are merely concerned with establishing an atmosphere of intimacy and empathy, which grows in intensity to an almost unbearable degree as the film moves toward its finale.

  • Massadian cast in the title role a real-life teenage mum living in a shelter for single young mothers. Milla/Severine’s mix of tenderness and street-wise toughness makes for one of the most memorable portraits at Locarno this year: vulnerable yet incredibly self-contained. This is no doubt thanks to Massadian’s insistence on connecting to the real world, however thorny or even limiting it might be, creating fictive situations yet drawing on emotions that cut awfully close to home.

  • With more of a contemplative style with very little dialogue, the strength of this work shines in the great acting and the film’s mise-en-scene. All the compositions are very well-thought, with the environment embracing Milla’s struggle through natural-lit fixed shots. The cinematography is almost like an art piece.

  • A quietly moving and unassumingly profound film about growing up, young motherhood, and life’s chance occurrences... Instead of distancing the viewer from the drama, the film’s bifurcated structure and Massadian’s casually radical approach to time—the narrative is more than once breached by unexpected conflations of music and memory—yield a strikingly tangible sense of accumulated experience, forming a beautifully symmetrical whole.

  • Poised intriguingly between realism and stylized lyricism, Massadian’s beautifully observed film depicts the daily life of the eponymous heroine, a stoic teenager coping with the loss of her lover and life as a single mother. . . . Making her screen debut, Séverine Jonckeere portrays the mercurial heroine with a fierce commitment that more or less eradicates any barrier between the actress and her role.

  • If life is a refraction of moments and repetition then the beauty of being given a body is in the loop of breath and how it changes as days pass. Milla is a stunning portrait of the quotidian nature of life and how it gives birth to more staggering moments. In her film we get a sense of who Milla is and how her everyday decisions impact her life, at first a hazy recollection on the timelessness of romance bursts apart when cause and effect bring motherhood, death and music. Cinema as humanity.

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