Lola Naymark

Lola Naymark

Screen Time: 80%
Role: Claire Moutiers
Age: 16 years old





Rating: 8 (4 votes)
Directed: Éléonore Faucher
Country: France
Language: French
Genre: Coming of Age, Drama


Claire (Naymark), an unmarried pregnant teenager, finds an odd relation in Madame Mélikian (Ascaride), an older woman grieving over the death of her son.

Movie Reviews

Director Eleonore Faucher's debut picked up some praise and a minor award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, and it's easy to see why as her first film has all the hallmarks of a new star in the making. Faucher rejects any notion of action and high drama and instead has made a slow but memorable film, full of delightful imagery, and one which recalls a sombre Eric Rohmer. A Common Thread may not be everyone's cup of tea, but those with the patience and a hankering for a decent foreign film will be richly rewarded.

The film centres around Claire (Lola Naymark), a young girl living alone in rural France. On the cusp of womanhood, Claire is something of an outsider, who steals cabbages, works as a cashier in a supermarket and lives away from her family. A quintessentially troubled young woman, Claire finds herself with another problem when she discovers she is pregnant by one of her co-workers. Fearing the shame that being an unmarried mother will bring, Claire heads off to some friends who advise her that a local embroiderer may be looking for help.

Claire arrives at the house of Madame Melikian (Ariane Ascaride), an austere woman who makes a living through her detailed and complex embroidery, which occasionally reaches the eyes of the major designers. But her house couldn't be further from the glamour of the catwalk: having recently lost her son in an accident, she treats Claire with a stern outlook.

This is an unusual, quiet buddy movie in which an unlikely alliance forms between the two strangers. Madame Melikian helps Claire answer some of the adolescent questions about life that have been worrying her, while Claire acts as a sort of surrogate for the dead son, and comforts her boss during the film's one major crisis.

Faucher gives the film a steady and slow pace which some may find the film's chief fault. Nevertheless there is much beauty to be had in a series of striking visuals - of cows, fields and best of all the actual embroidery itself, which comes alive at the hands of the two seamstresses.
The imagery of a scarved Claire working alongside Madame Melikian conjures up Vermeer and Lola Naymark, making her debut in a leading role, would have made an apt pupil for the Dutch master. She gives an extraordinary performance and will undoubtedly have French talent scouts knocking at her door. Alongside French veteran Ariane Ascaride, the unorthodox relationship comes alive and will provide a treat for anyone longing for a look at the quieter, yet infinitely interesting, side of life.







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