Loulou ★★★

This continues Pialat's style of long takes that capture the nuances of complex interpersonal relationships evolving over time, but it feels significantly more kinetic at times due to the increased amount of camera movement. Loulou himself is a character defined by his impulsivity and aimlessness and the film is at its best when the style matches the appeal of this way of living (as well as the sense of disorientation that comes with it). I also appreciate the film's narrative obliqueness as it frequently cuts important plot points in the service of capturing genuine emotion within specific moments. I think of the cut from a scene where Loulou and André had just fought over Nelly to a scene where Loulou and Nelly are now arguing. The film doesn't trace a long decline of the relationship; it instead chooses to focus on the rush of the initial falling in love with an exhilarating new partner and then the difficulty of sustaining that feeling in everyday life. The camera movement slows down and the narrative stalls to focus on Huppert wavering between the two men and Loulou's balance of his criminal tendencies with the prospect of being a new father. I don't find this back half of the film as emotionally or narratively engaging and was missing the rush of the dance club scene where they first meet. But maybe that's how I'm supposed to feel - I could see myself liking this significantly more on a rewatch when this structure is at the front of my mind.