Spring Blossom – Reviewed by Rachel Bellwoar
Written and Directed by Suzanne Lindon
It started on the way to and from school. Suzanne (Suzanne Lindon) would notice the same guy, then find herself looking for him every time she passed. It’s the kind of crush that usually gets stuck in fourth gear, but in Spring Blossom it actually gets to develop into a real relationship. Lindon often has her characters express their feelings through dance and the first time Suzanne talks to Raphaël (Arnaud Valois) she ends up skipping through the streets. The next dance, an impromptu number that shows how in sync they are, is equally strong, though after that the dances start to get repetitive, if more so because of the choreography than because it’s another dance.
Lindon is really good at capturing the way people behave when they’re in love – the observations that are infused with so much meaning and the little alterations in behavior, like deciding you should eat strawberry jam because you saw your crush eat strawberry jam. It also feels validating to see Raphaël be invested in the relationship, too. The moment that stuck with me was when his costars invited him out and he said he had to get up early the next day. It showed that he took their breakfast date seriously.
While an age gap is one thing, Spring Blossom never fully resolves the fact that Suzanne is underage. Raphaël never treats Suzanne like a secret girlfriend, and they’re very upfront about how old they are, but it’s still uncomfortable.
The 29th Philadelphia Film Fesitval runs from October 23rd to November 2nd. Click here for the full program.