It Felt Like Love
Directed by Eliza Hittman
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 iana on Letterboxd
I wasn’t as big a fan of Beach Rats as other people, but I have to admire the way Eliza Hittman films bodies. Her use of shallow focus and close-ups evokes one’s sexual discovery, but it’s also overwhelming, scary even. What she does in It Felt Like Love only gets better with Beach Rats — in fact, I think I appreciate Beach Rats even more after watching this.
★★★★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.
★★★½ review by Ashton Kinley on Letterboxd
I can't wait for Eliza Hittman to complete her "Teenage Boys in Brooklyn are the Worst™" trilogy.
★★★★ 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
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