Summer of ’85

Francois Ozon, that prolific and always elegantly interesting French film maker, returns with a summer seaside coming-of-age gay love story.

If you ever saw his short film Robe d’Ete (Summer Dress), you’d know how good he is at capturing the giddy heat of first love and the opening half of this film is reassuringly great at it – The Cure and Banarama on the soundtrack, days at the beach, motorbike rides and hot afternoons in the bedroom, doses of humour and an undercurrent of dark threat, just like the treacherous Atlantic sea itself.

The two boys are terrific and there’s an English au pair who pops up (Philippine Velge) while it was also good to see Ozon players such as Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Melvil Poupaud in adult roles – she as a caring yet heart-broken mother, he as a slightly creepy literature teacher.

The passion turns into a rage of troubles, and you know this from the start and the film unravels a bit, veers towards the rocks. But in moments, it’s just great and you remember how happy you always are to disappear into an Ozon universe for a while.