An Amelie for the embittered, this French debut feature (2003) by Yann Samuell chronicles the intimate friendship between a boy and a girl who grow to adulthood locked in a childish game: passing back and forth an accursed cookie tin shaped like a merry-go-round, they dare each other to pull off increasingly dangerous and destructive pranks. Of course what they really want is to devour each other sexually, and their unwillingness to act on that impulse ultimately curdles into mutual hatred. It's a powerful psychological conceit, but Samuell subverts it at every turn with his carnivalesque style and canned Gallic wistfulness (the latter enforced by endless deployment of Edith Piaf's “La Vie en Rose”). With Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard. In French with subtitles. R, 94 min.
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