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65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: It's summer, and the girls' winning synchronized swimming team is in full swing at the vast municipal swimming pool and social hub in the Paris suburb of Cergy. It's here that Floriane, a shapely blonde with come-hither looks, is a valued performer and star of the social set. Although Marie isn't on the team, is small for her age, and is flat-chested, she becomes Floriane's confidante and cover for the budding siren's assignations, often at the expense of Marie's best friend, Anne. The aching doubts and offhanded cruelty of 15- and 16-year-old girls is on full display in this rich coming-of-age tale. (Koch Lorber Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 75
    Though the material is familiar, Sciamma has a light touch and avoids many teen-movie cliches.
  2. Everything in Water Lilies is more guarded, more complex and far more interesting than it seems.
  3. It's a world where every emotion feels like the earth moving, and where the shifting tectonics of young lust and friendship, along with the lifelong lessons of a broken heart, have never felt more real.
  4. 70
    Dismissed in some quarters as trash because it depicts a sexual act (of sorts) between two teenage girls, Water Lilies struck me instead as a hypnotic and wholly convincing look at teen culture from the inside, with all its courage, cruelty and unspoken codes of silence intact.
  5. 63
    A distant thematic and artistic cousin of Sofia Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides" and Lucrecia Martel's "The Holy Girl."
  6. 63
    Though Water Lilies endlessly teases the audience with its sapphic subtext and young female flesh, Sciamma seems most interested in showing how extremely cruel adolescent girls can be to each other.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    50
    With no adults to add melodrama, the sweet Water Lilies depends on the emotion in its young performers' faces to move forward.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

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