By Jeff Walsh
"One to Another" is an interesting movie about a group of friends that center around Lucie and Pierre, a 20-year-old brother and sister. The siblings and their group of friends have an unique relationship that crosses the lines of friendship, sexuality, and intimacy.
One friend mentions that Lucie found the other better sexually, so he asks if he can watch them next time so he can improve. Even the brother and sister spend time naked together, although never cross the line further. The friends all hang out naked quite a bit. If a movie were to be judged on casting cute, young actors and getting them naked repeatedly, then this would be an easy film to recommend without hesitation.
Early in the film Pierre, the bisexual center of the group, is murdered. Much of the movie is spent in the aftermath of that event, with the group trying to come to terms with it and figure out what happened. Although the news doesn't stop them from continuing to play in their band, sleep with each other, and such.
The movie, French with English subtitles, does a good job at telling the story in flashbacks of Pierre as a hustler to older gay men and other reckless situations. There is definitely a lot of dramatic tension, but it sort of deflates if you go in expecting (as I did) that you would leave with answers.
The movie is based on actual events and therefore gives as much information as is known about the circumstances surrounding Pierre's death, which is not that much.
So, on some level, it seemed to be a mystery without answers, a sexual awakening where the most charismatic character dies, and a light-hearted coming-of-age tale with very serious stakes. The fact that the movie never settled into a specific story seemed to give me the most conflict (blah, American reviewers... need everything spelled out for them. Go watch Transformers!).
I thought the movie was well-shot and well-acted, and the nudity was not necessarily gratuitous, but it definitely seemed to be a case where the whole was less than the sum of its parts.
"One To Another" opened August 3 in San Francisco and Berkeley. To check if the movie is going to be opening near you, check the Strand Releasing website.