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TIFF 2014 Review: Tu Dors Nicole

Media about girls in a state of suspended adolescence will probably always be appealing: Girls, Frances Ha, and the book Friendship by Emily Gould are just a few of these media par example. Enter Tu Dors Nicole, which has been described as a French-Canadian Frances Ha, but truly amounts to so much more than a Québécois version of the Noah Baumbach-directed Greta Gerwig-starring vehicle.

This ascension is in part because of the performance by comedienne Julianne Côté as the fairly aimless and yet lovable Nicole Gagnon. It is difficult to think of another film, shot in glorious black and white, opening with the female lead mooning the audience before putting on her underwear and sneaking out of the room of an awkward sexual adventure. In fact, the close-up by director and screenwriter Stephanie Lafleur on Nicole’s body suggests that the character is in a sense of repose, before she pulls the camera out to reveal the gag that Nicole is trying to sneak out the morning after.

The film continues to spotlight Nicole and her relatively wandering existence, but the film is presented with such heart that we identify with her longing to go to Iceland with her cuter friend Véronique Simard (Catherine St-Laurent), and the interaction that she with her brother Rémi, (an almost unidentifiable Marc-André Grondin) and his bandmates, including JF, (Francis La Haye), as a drummer and potential love interest for Nicole.

Tu Dors Nicole, after a bit of silliness involving a young boy with an adult voice, ultimately focuses upon Nicole’s extended flirtation with JP, and reworks Chekhov’s idea that if you introduce a drum in Act One, it is going to be played in Act Three.

[star v=35]