Cinefranco 2020: Our Review of ‘Lola vers la mer’

Cinefranco 2020: Our Review of ‘Lola vers la mer’

Roger Ebert once said that film is a machine that generates empathy. Since that’s true, we need more films like Laurent Micheli’s Lola vers la mer, which is about a few days in the life of the titular transwoman (Mya Bollaers). Her father Philippe (Benoit Maginel) fooled her into not going to her mother’s funeral. To set things right, she steals her mother’s ashes from Philippe. The conflict her is obviously more than the ashes.

Through Lola, Micheli reminds his viewers of the hetero white majority oppression sexual minorities, even in a progressive country like Belgium. The infrastructure supports the former more than it does the latter. That issue pops up during their impromptu countryside drive to spread Lola’s mom’s ashes in a beach. She requests to go to the bathroom. That request, of course, is something that Philippe turns into a big thing that makes Lola fight back.

Micheli uses this film as social commentary but there are moments of levity here. After all, this is a film where a transwoman and her father fight over a relative’s ashes in a strip club. As I write this, I feel like one light scene comes with a heavier one, one that comes with didactic social commentary. The strip club scenes exist her so that the establishment’s patroness (Els Deceukelier) can give Philippe parenting lessons.

There are other things that this film could do without. There’s the third act separation, which works less here since the two people separating already dislike each other. The trip also feels longer than it should be. Again, as I write this, the film has its merits. It lets us watch Lola reference Paris is Burning. It also shows Lola and Philippe react to the same things similarly, showing off a rare chemistry between actors.


This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
Comments are closed.