A fearless, powerhouse performance by Laetitia Dosch infuses every frame of Montparnasse Bienvenue (Jeune Femme), the kinetic, incident-packed portrait of rudderless yet resilient Paula, a 31-year-old woman in emotional free-fall. This first film by writer-director Léona Serraille is full of snap and surprises as energetic scatterbrain Paula ricochets from situation to situation after getting dumped by a lover — her former teacher and prominent photographer Joachim (Gregoire Monsaingeon) — with whom she lived for a decade. Following its debut in Cannes (Un Certain Regard) this should travel.
We meet Paula pounding on a door — first with her fist and then with her forehead — demanding to be let in. In a sequence at the hospital where the resulting gash is treated, we witness Paula’s manic gift for navel-centered gab and her oblivious knack for casually insulting the very people trying to help her. She’s a walking train wreck who manages to lurch from station to station as we look on. There’s literally never a dull moment. [ . . . ] READ FULL REVIEW