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Written and Directed by Laurent Cantet
Starring Raven Adamson, Kate Coseni and Madeline Bisson

Father Theriault: Happiness is a journey, not a goal, but we don’t realize it while it’s happening.

When I saw Laurent Cantet’s Oscar-nominated film, THE CLASS, I was shocked at how natural everything seemed, at how real everything felt. At times, I would forget that I was watching a work of fiction even. So I was very surprised when I saw Cantet’s latest film, FOXFIRE: CONFESSIONS OF A GIRL GANG, to see that the tone felt so forced, so false. The film finds its own charms eventually but it is a far cry from what I was hoping for in his follow-up.

FOXFIRE is adapted from the Joyce Carol Oates novel and refers specifically to an all-girl gang. These particular girls, led by Leggs (Raven Adamson) and chronicled by Maddy (Kate Coseni), start out with five and grow from there, in this tiny New York town, in 1955. The girls in this town are subjected to everything from ridicule to rape. The boys, young and old, pretty much treat them however they like because they’re girls and they would certainly never fight back. But that is exactly what they do and once they get a taste of it, they just want more and more.

It isn’t that I don’t think the girls have the right to fight back, but rather that Cantet never truly gives them a personal reason to, other than the general mood around town toward them. With motivations blurred, eventually it just collapses into girls behaving badly, and sadly none of these girls have the real chops to take us deep enough to reveal the real reason for their behaviour.
3 sheep

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give Foxfire: Confessions on a Girl Gang?



  1. I’m afraid the shallowness of this judgement is betrayed by the laughable lack of professionalism, typical of internet (sh)amateurs. This is not Laurent Cantet’s first feature in English, as you have written, but his second.

    p.s.The actors in fact are superbly directed. They simply don’t correspond to American notions of television reality shows.

  2. Thanks for pointing out my error. Everybody makes them so I’m not sure you need to be so harsh on people when it happens. By the way, this (sh)amateur has been published in print across North America and actualy interviewed Mr. Cantet in person yesterday.

    PS. I still don’t think they were superbly directed. That’s called opinion and I’m entitled to mine as much as you are yours. I’m glad you enjoyed the film.

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