Movie reviews: 'Dior and I'

A serious, tenuous look at a business. Plus: "Cheatin'," "Girlhood."

Updated 5/1/2015

★★★ out of four stars
Unrated: Strong language and catwalk semi-nudity. In subtitled French and English.
Theater: Uptown.

“The past is not romantic to me. It’s the future that’s romantic to me,” says fashion designer Raf Simons in this biographical documentary. From the anxious expression in his eyes to his ongoing finger rubs across his distressed forehead, it’s clear to see how difficult the new director of Dior’s Paris fashion house finds it to move beyond a legacy. Director Frédéric Tcheng follows Simons through his first two months of tense challenges and conflicts as the Belgian focuses on women’s fashion, following a career in menswear at Jil Sander.

Clipping ahead briskly for 89 minutes, we encounter film-world fashion lovers including Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence, Sharon Stone and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (such a fan that he was accused in April of groping a 22-year-old Italian model). From creating photo files rather than sketching dresses, to fitting them on lithe human pipe cleaners who march them across the catwalk, the film is a serious look at a business containing surprising amounts of tension. Beautifully filmed, with a superb modernist musical score by Ha-Yang Kim. COLIN COVERT


★★ out of four stars
Unrated but adult themes.
Theater: St. Anthony Main.

Bill Plympton is a truly singular voice in the world of animation, a real-deal indie filmmaker. But there are times when his specific style is better in small doses. This typically bizarre, far left-of-center story about infidelity may be for hard-core fans only, as the vignette-like structure gives way to a sluggish pace and feels cobbled together. At times it comes to life, but for the most part it’s a bit one-note and repetitive. ERIK MCCLANAHAN


★★★½ out of four stars
Not rated: In French, subtitled.
Theater: St. Anthony Main.

Teenaged Marieme’s bleak prospects growing up in a rough French suburb start looking up when she befriends three strong, buoyant girls who also happen to shoplift. In this beautifully executed rarity of a coming-of-age film — its heroes are girls, and black — boys play the supporting roles.

Karidja Toure glows in the lead role, her face subtly revealing longing, confusion, bravado and uncertainty. From the opening montage of Marieme and other girls playing American football in full uniform, “Girlhood” resonates as something special. KRISTIN TILLOTSON

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