Cuties ★★★½

Objectification has many faces, and comes from many places. The background story of Amy’s father taking a second wife is well-placed.

The crucial part of it all is the girls' actual age, eleven, the ultimate ‘tweener age, when curiosity, will and intent, no matter how ferocious, are still cocooned inside the downy ignorance of innocence. It’s a fascinating perspective from which to view both adulthood and childhood, as it’s wedged right between them. Being a kid and being an adult are states in constant transformation, shifting from generation to generation, technology to technology, culture to culture, while the 11-year-old view remains fixed, and entirely outward-looking. It reflects whatever it sees.

I thought about Eighth Grade often while watching this, though Cuties lacks the visceral interior space of Eighth Grade. Cuties explodes with intensely physical spaces: the cramped apartments, the blockish urban exteriors, and that place where the girls practice, around the train tracks – there couldn’t be a more perfect setting for their discoveries, a dense and colorful wasteland of infinite possibilities. I really enjoy this, and look forward to seeing what Doucouré does next.

As for the controversy, repression sure is a bitch. Why is the fool who sees a pedophile around every corner always the one with the sweaty palms?

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