This superb psychological drama debuted at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and continues the recent string of hits of director François Ozon including the 2013 Festival hit, In The House. The New Girlfriend owes its origins to a Ruth Rendell short story from 1985 but takes its source material to lighter territory.
Claire (Anaïs Demoustier) is grieving the loss of her lifetime best friend, who has left behind a husband, David (Romain Duris), and a newborn baby. On an unannounced visit, a shocked Claire discovers David nuzzling his infant while wearing the clothes of his dead wife. Unfazed, David explains that his former wife had always been aware of this particular idiosyncrasy. In time, Claire begins to overcome her initial reaction, and helps David to create his own female persona to inhabit.
In this, his latest cinematic offering, Ozon has delivered a well-paced psychological drama that investigates grief and identity. The New Girlfriend is also a funny, good-natured poke at the mores and peccadilloes of France’s bourgeoisie in a film that effortlessly fuses the best of Hitchcock and Almodóvar. (French Film Festival)