Normandy, 1985. Budding teenage writer Alexis (Félix Lefebvre, in a star-making performance) capsizes while he’s out sailing on a stormy afternoon, but he’s saved from certain death by the statuesque, mercurial David (Benjamin Voisin). They become fast friends, and Alexis starts working for David’s affectionate but scattered mother (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Slack Bay). Alexis’s attraction to David soon blossoms into passion, but turns, by the end of the summer, into a deeper meditation on mortality and the unknown. Awash in sun-kissed, 16mm pastels and period-appropriate tracks from The Cure, Summer of 85 is a is a sexy, nostalgic reverie of first love and its consequences from one of France’s most versatile filmmakers. Their summer fling lasts just six weeks, but casts a shadow over a lifetime.
Adapted by writer-director François Ozon from Aidan Chambers’s groundbreaking LGBT young adult novel Dance on My Grave, this official 2020 Cannes selection was nominated for twelve César Awards including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
(Content advisories: brief nudity, sexual situations and mature themes)