It Felt Like Love

Fourteen-year-old Lila is experiencing an ennui-filled Brooklyn summer. She awkwardly wears a Kabuki-esque mask of sunscreen at the beach and plays third wheel to Chiara, her more experienced friend, and Chiara’s boyfriend, Patrick. Determined to have a love interest of her own, a bravado-filled Lila pursues Sammy, a tough but handsome older boy....

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  • ★★★★½ review by Kurdt on Letterboxd

    So quiet you can hear the waves eroding the rocks by the beach while Lila's daunting deep eyes stare into the camera. Laconic, It Felt Like Love doesn't need many words since it has such beautiful imagery, ethereal cinematography and dazzling colour. There's a disturbing chill that hangs over the film all the way until the silent credits. I still haven't made a sound since then, the only noise in the room coming from the keyboard. Lila's lost eyes, the empty spaces, the waves that come from an unknown abyss, it all creates a haunting examination of female sexuality still developing in a surreal world. Seemingly completely adrift from the rest of the world, Lila just wants to fit in. She wants to discover her body and break through the ennui surrounding her cramped life. Unfortunately no matter what hidden corner of the world you're hiding in it's still an unforgiving, virulent place, and Lila will discover how girls are looked at sexually and what darkness jumps forth from people when they crave solely for pleasure. I feel like I never want to raise my voice above a whisper ever again. And I can still see those poor, broken eyes staring back at me. Never the same again.

  • ★★★★ review by Peter Valerio on Letterboxd

    This is a melancholy portrait of a lonely young girl in those difficult years between childhood and adulthood. Everything about this film seemed real.

  • ★★★★ review by Olivier Lemay on Letterboxd

    tfw a movie makes total sense in ways that are impossible to express

  • ★★★★ review by bbbgtoby on Letterboxd

    It's like a less carefree version of Diary of a Teenage Girl that's going to push all of the same buttons and then some extra ones because of the languorous nature of Eliza Hittman's direction. Much like an adolescent this is an awkward, uncomfortable film; an exploration of want and need and identity that confirms once more that any person who manages to leave the 21st Century world of teenage girlhood behind in a relatively unscathed mental state is somebody with more strength than most white males can ever dream of having. The world inhabited by Lila is a scary and confusing place, Hittman's choice of visual style in focusing on small details and the female gaze enhances this effect dramatically. It's a refreshingly honest portrait of life as a modern teenager, complete without the usual histrionics, hyperbole and cliche and I am a big fan.

  • ★★★½ review by Tyler on Letterboxd

    Been a while since I've seen either movie, but this reminded me of The Exploding Girl and Fat Girl. Love the final shot even though it does that ambiguous note ending thing that has become fashionable with indies.

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