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Ma Belle, My Beauty Review | Sundance 2021

Ma Belle, My Beauty is a raw moving picture that delves into a relationship molded by years of complicated love and into how it can be shattered in an instant by selfishness and abandonment. A quiet patient story that explores so much more than emotion and touches on a side of togetherness few have experienced but most understand. The feeling of loving someone with everything you have but knowing they can’t help but bring pain and never seem to take it with them when they leave.

Idella Johnson and Hannah Pepper appear in Ma Belle, My Beauty by Marion Hill, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

Bertie and Fred are newly weds living in the France countryside and are members of a small band. Bertie, their lead singer, has been struggling with a nagging depression that has all but stolen her voice. Fred thinks it wise to invite Lane, the once third-wheel in their relationship, to see if she can find a way to help Bertie shake her depression and regain her singing spirit… but Bertie and Lane have unresolved issues due to the baggage Lane can’t seem to shake off herself.

This film takes a modern, open minded look at relationships, knowing they aren’t all cut from the same cloth. The actors deliver striking performances and manage to lay everything bare as they grapple with the complicated and rich histories of the characters they are representing.

Idella Johnson, Sivan Noam Shimon and Hannah Pepper appear in Ma Belle, My Beauty by Marion Hill, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

First time feature filmmaker Marion Hill handles this intimate story delicately and shows great promise as a visual storyteller. I had fully bought in to the film early on. It has this natural and authentic feel I love to experience. My only qualms come from the fact that the end of the film leaves much to be desired, setting up a wonderful narrative but failing to wrap it up satisfyingly.

Overall, I love the authentic dialogue, the beautiful locations and the genuine performances.

7/10

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By Raul Navedo

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