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Young & Beautiful

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Young & Beautiful
Theatrical release poster
FrenchJeune & Jolie
Directed byFrançois Ozon
Written byFrançois Ozon
Produced by
CinematographyPascal Marti
Edited byLaure Gardette
Music byPhilippe Rombi
Mandarin Cinéma
Distributed byMars Distribution
Release dates
  • 16 May 2013 (2013-05-16) (Cannes)
  • 21 August 2013 (2013-08-21) (France)
Running time
93 minutes
Budget€4.6 million[1]
($5 million)
Box office$9.8 million[2]

Young & Beautiful (French: Jeune & Jolie) is a 2013 French erotic drama film written and directed by François Ozon. It stars Marine Vacth as Isabelle, a teenage prostitute, and features supporting performances by Johan Leysen, Géraldine Pailhas, Frédéric Pierrot and Charlotte Rampling. The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and received praise from the film critics.[3][4] It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[5]


While on a summer holiday with her family in the south of France, 16-year-old Isabelle decides to lose her virginity to a German boy named Felix. The experience leaves her unsatisfied and dissociated. Her family and another family living in their house throw Isabelle a party when she turns 17. Isabelle is reserved and secretive around her family, especially with her overbearing mother Sylvie, who thinks she knows what is best for Isabelle. By the autumn, she is working as a part-time prostitute. She meets clients at high-class hotels under the pseudonym Léa and lies about her age, telling her clients that she is 20 years old. Among Isabelle's clients is a 63-year-old man named Georges (Johan Leysen), whom she likes due to fact that he is kind to her. During one of their meetings, he dies of a heart attack while they are having sex. Isabelle tries to resuscitate him, but fails and leaves out of shock. In winter the police turn up and inform Sylvie about Isabelle being a prostitute and Georges's death. When Isabelle arrives home, Sylvie reveals that she knows everything and flies into a rage, repeatedly slapping Isabelle before apologizing and grounding her. Sylvie and Isabelle are now estranged. Isabelle has to give a statement to the police. She says she was first approached by a man on the street to have sex for money, but found it disgusting. After seeing a report about students making money as prostitutes she set up a website, bought a second phone and went into business. As a minor she is the victim and will not be charged, but her mother will keep the money. Sylvie takes Isabelle to see a therapist (Serge Hefez) to help her deal with what happened, including her guilt because she thinks she killed Georges.

After Isabelle quits prostitution she lives a normal teenage life and works as a babysitter. In spring, she meets Alex at a party and they start dating. They have sex, and she has to help him out. Afterwards she breaks up with Alex saying she does not love him. Isabelle reactivates her phone's SIM card and checks messages for Léa from clients. Georges's widow Alice (Charlotte Rampling) found Léa's number in her husband's address book and requested an appointment at the hotel. When she arrives, Alice explains the situation and says she wants to see the room and meet the girl Georges was with when he died. She does not blame Isabelle because she knew he saw other women, was ill and thinks dying while making love is a beautiful death. They go to the room; Alice tells Isabelle to leave her clothes on and lie with her on the bed. Isabelle says that she needed to come to the room as well. Alice kindly caresses Isabelle's face; Isabelle falls asleep. She wakes up alone looking more at peace.



Critical response[edit]

François Ozon (second from left) with Fantin Ravat, Marine Vacth, and Géraldine Pailhas at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Frédéric Pierrot can be seen behind Ravat.

Upon its premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Young & Beautiful received critical acclaim. David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter praised Vacth's leading role and predicted that the film would "land her major exposure on the casting radar". While drawing comparisons to Ozon's 2012 film In the House Rooney wrote, "[U]nlike that playful Hitchcockian quasi-thriller, Young & Beautiful is both more carnal and more sober, suggesting the danger and fragility inherent in the central character's experimentation while keeping the dramatic intensity subdued."[6] Leslie Felperin of Variety noted that the film was "a nuanced, emotionally temperate study of a precocious youth" and added that "its elegant execution will win warm regard [and the] subject matter should lure audiences at art houses worldwide."[7]

Derek Malcolm of London Evening Standard wrote that Ozon was successful in "directing the slim and striking Vacth through a series of sex scenes, and also showing how the girl doesn't really know what she is doing even when pretty experienced in the art of seduction."[8] While being appreciative of the film as a whole, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian noted that the film was a "luxurious fantasy of a young girl's flowering: a very French and very male fantasy, like the pilot episode of the world's classiest soap opera."[9]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 73% based on reviews from 82 critics, with an average rating of 6.74/10. The site's consensus reads: "Ozon may not explore his themes as fully as he should, but Young & Beautiful poses enough intriguing questions -- and features a strong enough performance from Marine Vatch -- to compensate for its frustrations".[10] On Metacritic the film has a score of 63 out of 100, based on reviews from 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]


List of Awards received by Young & Beautiful
Award / Film Festival Category Recipients Result
San Sebastián International Film Festival[12] TVE Otra Mirada Award François Ozon Won
Silver Condor[13] Best Non Spanish Film François Ozon Nominated


The film takes place over the course of a year and is divided into four segments, each separated by a song of Françoise Hardy: 'L'amour d'un garçon', 'A quoi ça sert?', 'Première rencontre', and 'Je suis moi'.


  1. ^ "Jeune & jolie (Young and Beautiful) (2013)". JP Box-Office (in French). Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Young & Beautiful (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 25 December 2023.
  3. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Screenings Guide" (PDF). Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Toronto film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  6. ^ Rooney, David (16 May 2013). "Young & Beautiful: Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  7. ^ Felperin, Leslie (16 May 2013). "'Young & Beautiful' Review". Variety. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  8. ^ Malcolm, Derek (16 May 2013). "Young & Beautiful, Cannes film festival - film review". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  9. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (16 May 2013). "Cannes 2013: Jeune et Jolie review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Young & Beautiful (Jeune Et Jolie) (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Young & Beautiful". Metacritic. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Jeune et jolie". San Sebastián. 15 December 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Cóndor de Plata 2016: Todos los nominados". Escribiendo Cine. Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.

External links[edit]