Directed by Agnes Jaoui, starring Jean-Pierre Bacri, Marilou Berry, Agnes Jaoui, Virginie Desarnauts and Keine Bouhiza.

This beautifully-acted ensemble drama centres on 20-year-old Lolita (Berry), who has the misfortune, as she sees it, of being the overweight eldest daughter of a hugely successful and monstrously egocentric novelist, Étienne (Bacri). 

Forced to compete for her father's affection with his new wife, Karine (Desarnauts), who is scarcely older than her, Lolita craves his attention and obsesses about not getting it so much that ordinary friendships with students her own age become almost impossible. Lolita becomes convinced that boys only ever want to talk to her to get to her father.

Director Jaoui, who also co-wrote the script and co-stars as Lolita's selfless singing teacher, uses the thoroughly modern plot device of a chance encounter on the street to show up Lolita as the spoilt brat she really is.

Sébastien (Bouhiza) is so impressed by Lolita lending him her jacket when he collapses drunk on the street, he seeks her out afterward to thank her. The significance of this random act of kindness to him is completely lost on Lolita, who nonetheless allows him to hang around with her long enough to get invited to her father's country retreat, where the dysfunctional relationships of the film's characters come to a head.

While the story makes Lolita the star, an equal amount of screen time is devoted to her similarly self-obsessed father, who gives the film most of its best and most blackly comic lines. At one point when Sébastien is feeling truly despondent, Étienne strolls past and remarks casually, "There's a bottle of cyanide in the bathroom if you want it."

The other co-star of 'Look At Me' is choral classical music, which Jaoui employs liberally from beginning to end to compliment the intelligent, quintessentially Gallic drama. Deservedly taking the Best Screenplay award at Cannes, this is a must for all fans of European cinema.

Bill Lehane