Alli Haapasalo’s coming of age film shines bright as it displays the complexities of sexuality, love, and growing up.
As I reach the end of my Sundance screenings, I must continue with my coverage. Staying in the style of my last review of The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future, I will be reviewing yet another title from the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Girl Picture caught my attention for a multitude of reasons. The film is a coming-of-age story that partly deals with exploring one’s sexuality which interests me especially given how this film decides to tackle that. This is also a Finnish film and I have yet to have the pleasure of exploring Finland’s cinema. Overall, I was excited to watch this film and it did not disappoint in the slightest.
Girl Picture is directed by Alli Haapasalo from script written by Ilona Ahti and Daniela Hakulinen. The picture stars Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, and Linnea Leino as three girls looking for a formative change in their life in the span of three separate Fridays. They embark on a journey of self-discovery, figuring out their sexuality, finding love, and confronting the imbalance of their family dynamics. A poignant story is crafted that is enriched by its visual component shot by Jarmo Kiuru. Thus, we end up with a fabulous film that tackles multiple themes coherently.
Dare I say, Girl Picture is the hidden gem of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film is compelling in every way imaginable. The characters are so interesting and it is hard to not root for them during this journey. Its visual language is one of an aesthetically pleasing nature. The lighting and camera movements craft a sense of wonder and almost a sort of nostalgic feel to this story of self-discovery. The story is an intimate well crafted journey that takes you through its ups and downs even though it can be off the pace a bit it always manages to pull you back in. I found myself invested and thoroughly impressed by the filmmaking and messages conveyed through this film. It had everything going for it and it does not leave anything on the table left to desire.
I am not sure when this film will be released because at the time of me writing this review it has not been bought at Sundance. Whenever this film is released, I highly recommend watching it or if it wins any awards it is well worth spending 20 USD on a single ticket to watch. I promise you, Girl Picture is one of the best films of this year’s Sundance Film Festival!