In her feature-length debut, French director Elsa Amiel bravely dives into the word of female bodybuilding. The main character of her film is Léa Pearl, a bodybuilder preparing for important international competitions. The last hours before what might be a key moment in her career are spent attempting to regain composure and concentration. The contestants and their coaching staffs are all grouped together in the same hotel, which makes the sense of competition and the weight of the moment feel even more tangible. Léa is defined to a great extent by her perfectly sculpted body, but before she goes on stage she has to face one more unexpected situation. Her ex-boyfriend pops up at the hotel with their 6-year-old son, who she hasn’t seen in a long time. Amiel creates a skilful balance between a sports film and a moving psychological drama. On the one hand, she reveals a world of fierce rivalry, showing a discipline that’s rarely seen on the silver screen; on the other, she shows the consequences of our life choices. Agata Buzek’s performance in an unusual supporting role is not to be missed.
Julia Föry, Peter Mullan, Vidal Arzoni, Arien Worthalter, Agata Buzek