Benoît Magimel marries the bearded lady Rosalie (trailer)

Rosalie: exceptional Nadia Tereszkiewicz (review)

Addressing the theme of the bearded woman, Stéphanie Di Giusto circumvents expectations and delivers a film full of delicacy

For his second feature film after the noticed The dancer, Stéphanie Di Giusto has chosen to gently treat a daring subject little explored by contemporary cinema: that of the bearded woman. Loosely inspired by the story of bar owner Clémentine Delait, the director places the action in France in 1870 and follows the steps of Rosalie, a young woman with her entire body covered in hair who first decides to hide this hormonal secret.

But after marrying the manager of the café in a quiet village, this intrepid heroine will come to terms with her status as a bearded woman and the revelation of this hairiness creates deep unrest among the villagers. Approached as an almost ordinary story of love and liberation, this sensitive story carefully avoids showing circuses or other fairgrounds and prefers to emphasize the sensuality of a body unlike any other. Through her singularity and her freedom, Rosalie seems to soothe and repair the torment of her husband who was traumatized by the war.

The interpretations of Nadia Tereszkiewicz, exceptionally delicate in the role of the bearded lady, and of Benoît Magimel, perfect as the anguished husband, prove remarkable in this respect. The film, on the other hand, becomes more predictable in terms of the supporting roles and the description of the hostile reactions of the crowd. And if not completely capsize our hearts, this atypical and bitter romance has the merit of elevating our spirits.

By Stéphanie Di Giusto With Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Benoît Magimel, Benjamin Biolay…Duration 1h55. Released April 10, 2024

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