Arthouse favorite Christophe Honoré takes a surprising and invigo-
rating turn away from his bittersweet tales of modern-day love with
this contemporary adaption of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Honoré’s take
on the Roman poet’s essential narrative poem is anything but a stuffy
tribute beholden to a classic work of literature: on the contrary, he
uses Ovid to portray the multicultural France of today, setting his story
not only in lush natural landscapes but among the housing blocks
of the French suburbs, and casting a high school student of North
African descent in the central role of Europa, the young woman who
encounters a series of gods and mythological characters. Naturally,
Ovid’s work is not adaptable in its entirety—it features over 250
myths—but Honoré is true to its spirit, selecting representative tales
including those of Orpheus, Narcissus, and Tiresias, played here as a
transgender doctor. He also makes a virtue out of working with a low
budget, implicitly underlining the wonder in everyday life by avoiding
special effects and finding simple means to portray transformations
and deities. The outcome is a light, lyrical film, whose unforced sen-
suality and formal rigor is reminiscent of nothing less than Pasolini’s
great literary adaptations.

Christophe Honoré

Christophe Honoré

Amira Akili
Sébastien Hirel
Mélodie Richard

Drama, Fantasy
102 min.
France, 2014
DCP, Digital, Blu-Ray

Monument Releasing