Tu Dors Nicole


For his third feature film, Québécois director Stéphane Lafleur (Continental, a Film without Guns) follows Nicole (Julianne Côté), a twenty-something spending the summer at home, with her brother, while her parents are away.

Nicole seems to be sleepwalking through life, unable to emotionally connect with people and lacking any sense of responsibility. When she’s not working at a thrift store – where she steals clothes – she spends her time at home, hanging out with her best friend Véronique (Catherine St-Laurent) and watching her brother’s band rehearse. Amusingly, she plans to move with her friend to Iceland but isn’t even capable to handle the few chores her parents left her.

Shot in black and white and advancing with a detached pace, Tu Dors Nicole is a bittersweet work offering a witty portrait of kids who feel like outcasts living in a dull world (thus the black and white photography). Mr. Lafleur builds his movie around recurring sequences aiming at showing how Nicole’s life is monotonous. But unlike other filmmakers who would make a pretentious, tedious piece out of it – read my review of The Absent to get an idea –, he is smart enough to infuse his work with strong doses of odd humor. I was most particularly amused by the young kid who talks with a manly voice and hits on Nicole as well as by the old guy in love with Véronique. The film also uses metaphors to symbolize Nicole’s state of mind –  for example, she can’t unlock her bike, which represents her inability to move on.

Unsurprisingly, the picture ends on a similar funny and bizarre note, with Nicole being prisoner of her fate and environment. As you probably already guessed it, neither this is your typical Hollywood-style transformative journey, nor this is a dark tale about rebellious youth. Rather, Tu Dors Nicole offers a snapshot of a moment in life, making us experience that gloom with gentle irony while confirming Mr. Lafleur’s distinct artistic voice.

Director: Stéphane Lafleur – Actors: Julianne Côté, Catherine St-Laurent – Running Time: 1:33 – Year: 2014 – Country: Canada
Click here to watch the Tu Dors Nicole trailer
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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.