In 1971 France, a young girl from a rural family moves to Paris and begins a life-changing affair with a feminist activist.
With La Belle saison, veteran filmmaker Catherine Corsini, last seen at the Festival with Trois mondes, tells the story of a love between two young women that is both unabashedly sexy and utterly realistic and compelling.
Setting the film between the bucolic French countryside and the streets of Paris in the 1970s, Corsini casts a steady eye on a twenty-year-old farm girl whose homosexuality becomes a source of anguish when her very traditional parents expect her to marry a local boy who — in their eyes — seems perfect for her. Delphine (Izïa Higelin) takes a huge step in her life by picking up and moving to the big city. She finds an apartment and replaces her overalls with a leather jacket.
It's not long before Delphine is drawn to the dynamic Carole (Cécile de France), who heads up a feminist group. Carole has a boyfriend, but the two women quickly discover their mutual affection and become an inseparable couple. This bliss is interrupted, however, when Delphine's father falls sick and she must return to the farm — and to her mother — to assure its continued existence. The film kicks into high gear as Carole must choose whether to stay in Paris, or to follow Delphine.
Much of the delight of La Belle saison lies in the manner in which the landscape informs the action. As hazy summer days repeat themselves and the two young lovers' romance unfolds, Corsini immerses us in an atmosphere of suspended anticipation. Sun and light is everywhere but, like this love that is still taboo in the eyes of the local farming community, the shadows still hold their fair share of surprises.