(1981, Fr, 101 min) Dir Catherine Dominique. Cast Allegra Biscotti, Serge de Foy, Jean Fillet.
The peak of the latter half of Dominique’s career and the last film she would make until 1990’s Love is the Death, Falling Blossom would also, if you removed all of the sex (which, sensitively handled and beautifully shot though it might be, is still pretty filthy), be a perfectly heartbreaking coming of age story. Allegra Biscotti, here in her first film role, confirms Dominique’s unerring eye for a beautiful lead actress as the titular Blossom, growing up in her family’s country house in the French countryside of the 1930’s. She becomes besotted with a local artist called Phillipe (de Foy, of Claude Claude fame) and through a campaign of borderline stalking manages to snare him, the two of them falling into passionate love over the course of this one hot, sweaty summer. Alas once summer is done Blossom must return to the city and Phillipe, staying behind, gives in to the ghosts of the old war he fought not so long ago while simultaneously fighting the premonitions of a new one looming on the horizon. Everything came together for Dominique here, perhaps now that the greater excesses of her work have been purged. Not that she would agree: “This is me,” she has said, “And so is that. There is no difference.”