Fitting in

Fitting in
Original title:Fitting in
Director:Molly McGlynn
Running time:105 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Sixteen-year-old Lindy has been diagnosed with a reproductive problem. This unexpected news will upset her desire to have sex, her ideas about femininity, her relationship with her mother and, above all, with herself.

Mulder's Review

In Molly McGlynn's second feature, Fitting In, the journey of adolescence is redefined through the prism of a young woman's personal discovery, confronting the complex layers of identity, sexuality and inflexible societal expectations that often obscure our perception of ourselves. Carried by Maddie Ziegler's remarkable performance, this comedy-drama takes an unflinching look at the transformative power of a teenage girl's self-realization.

Lindy (Maddie Ziegler) appears, at first glance, to be a typical 16-year-old navigating the treacherous waters of high school. But her life takes an abrupt detour when a seemingly routine visit to the gynecologist reveals a rare congenital condition: Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome. Suddenly, the trajectory of Lindy's life changes radically, forcing her to confront not only the complexity of her own body, but also the bewildering world of societal norms and expectations.

Maddie Ziegler's interpretation of Lindy is nothing short of a revelation. She captures the essence of the vulnerability and angst of adolescence, while embodying the strength and resilience needed to navigate a world that is determined to label and confine her. The delicate balance between Lindy's emotional turmoil and her occasional flashes of rebellion is masterfully executed by Ziegler, offering audiences a nuanced and relatable protagonist. Already spotted in several of Sia's music videos, this talented young actress shows she has all the qualities of a great actress-to-be. She irradiates the screen with her presence, making this film an undeniable must-see. 

Supported by an outstanding cast, including Emily Hampshire as Lindy's supportive but flawed mother Rita, and Djouliet Amara as Vivian, her best friend who is simultaneously experiencing her own teenage dilemmas, the film intricately weaves the narratives of various characters to construct a multifaceted exploration of identity. D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai's portrayal of Lindy's boyfriend Adam also contributes to the authenticity of the story, illustrating the difficulty of communication and understanding in relationships faced with life-altering revelations.

One of the film's main qualities lies in its willingness to depict the complexities of teenage friendships and their transformative power. Vivian's character, in particular, serves as a mirror for Lindy, who is forced to confront her own insecurities. This exploration of the transformative role of friendship is both touching and authentic, and resonates with viewers who remember the trials and tribulations of their own adolescence.

The film's distinctive visual style, characterized by Nina Djacic's subdued color palette and evocative cinematography, reflects the characters' internal emotional landscapes. The juxtaposition of warm and cool tones effectively reflects Lindy's upheaval and growth, as she navigates the twists and turns of her identity and evolves her understanding of the world around her.

While Fitting In undoubtedly succeeds in capturing the emotional turbulence of adolescence, it sometimes suffers from pacing problems that detract from its overall impact. The narrative is sometimes stretched out, causing the film to lose its rhythm. Nevertheless, these moments of stagnation are offset by the depth of the characters' development and the poignancy of the central themes.

Fitting In is a profound exploration of the intersection between identity, sexuality and societal expectations. By delving into Lindy's personal journey, the film challenges the notion of a rigid binary perspective on gender, encouraging audiences to embrace the spectrum of human experience. McGlynn's willingness to confront the complexities of body perception and societal pressures is both commendable and courageous, making Fitting In an essential addition to the coming-of-age genre.

Fitting In is a poignant reminder that the journey to self-discovery is often fraught with pitfalls, as well as a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit. Thanks to Maddie Ziegler's captivating performance and a narrative that navigates between trauma and humor, the film leaves an indelible mark on its audience, prompting them to question, challenge and redefine societal norms surrounding identity and the human body.

Fitting in 
Written and directed by Molly McGlynn
Produced by Jennifer Weiss & Liane Cunje
Starring Maddie Ziegler, Emily Hampshire, Djouliet Amara, Ki Griffin, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Dale Whibley
Music by Casey Manierka-Quaile
Cinematography : Nina Djacic
Edited by Maureen Grant
Running time : 105 minutes

Seen 4 september 2023 at Deauville international center

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