Most rapes don’t happen by some creep jumping out of the bushes, but by someone who knows the victim. Or as in the remarkable debut Slalom by someone the victim admires and thinks he needs, thus allowing the young protagonist to allow her to be taken advantage of.
15-year-old Lyz has been admitted to a training for top skiers from trainer Fred. He is hard on his students, but takes them to a high level. Lyz sees a surrogate parent in Fred – her own mother is very absent. The film paints a nuanced picture of a lonely teenager who yearns for recognition and who finds herself in a situation where she herself does not understand how wrong and harmful it is to her development. Leading actress Noée Abita is, just like in ava (2018), excellent as a sexually awakening and self-seeking teenager. Jérémie Renier is also convincing as a trainer who probably does not see himself as a perpetrator of sexually transgressive behavior, but it is.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of October 6, 2021