thu 30/05/2024

Girl Picture review - Finnish coming-of-age drama offers nothing new | reviews, news & interviews

Girl Picture review - Finnish coming-of-age drama offers nothing new

Girl Picture review - Finnish coming-of-age drama offers nothing new

A disappointingly formulaic teenage romance with good performances

Close-knit trio: Linnea Leino, Aamu Milonoff and Eleonoora Kauhanen

What is it with pushy Finnish mums and their acrobatic teenage daughters? Just weeks after the release of the Gothic fantasy Hatching, which focused on a gymnast having a Cronenbergian breakdown under pressure from her influencer mother, comes Girl Picture. This time the camera is on an ice-skating prodigy torn between pleasing her mother or revelling in her new romance with the coolest lesbian in school. 

Best friends Ronkko (Eleonoora Kauhanen) and Mimmi (Aamu Milonoff) work in a juice bar in a mall. Over the course of three Fridays, the girls swap notes on their sex lives and we follow their encounters. Ronkko has yet to experience an orgasm despite several hook-ups with cute boys. Meanwhile Mimmi seduces willowy ice-skater Emma (Linnea Leino), who is being groomed for the European championships by her mum.

Cue many scenes of lithe Emma not achieving a triple Lutz on the rink because she’s distracted by her new found sexuality. Mimmi with her punky bleached eyebrows is confident in her same sex preference but ambivalent about love because of her own experience of an emotionally neglectful mother. She treats Emma badly.

Mostly set indoors – malls, bedrooms, party houses, and the ice rink – Girl Picture is a vision of Finland as an artificially lit, brightly coloured urban environment. The young actresses do sterling work and are pretty credible, but the film’s director Alli Haapasolo and her female screenwriters achieve no great new insights into the dilemmas of girlhood. 

Fans of Booksmart and The Miseducation of Cameron Post will probably enjoy Girl Picture, but it lacks the discombobulating atmosphere that made Hatching such an unusual Finnish film. This is a far more straightforward teen drama, complete with the tried and tested formula of editorialising pop songs and lengthy sessions of girls dressing up, partying, and expressing angst about parents and friendships.

There are no great new insights into the dilemmas of girlhood


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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