FILM REVIEW: Miss
Alex’s childhood dream was to be crowned Miss France. The only issue is Alex is a boy, but this doesn’t mean he will give up on his dream. Ruben Alves’ Miss has a great balance of humour, sadness, and empowering themes.
Alex is portrayed by accomplished and versatile actor and model Alexandre Wetter. It’s a surprise to find out that this is his first acting role. The character of Alex is 24 in the film but still believes in his dream to be Miss France. Working in a boxing gym and having what seems to be a very introverted personality, it is a shock that this character would want all the glam and attention that comes with a beauty pageant. Living in a share house with his landlady Yolande, and other colourful characters, the house feels like a welcoming home for society’s outcasts. The characters are all very intriguing, so it was disappointing not to see more of their backstory especially considering there were some scenes that the film could’ve done without. But it was heartwarming to see the support and love from the supporting characters.
Throughout the film you see Alex go from shy to a confident young man embracing his femininity. His long-lost friend pops into his life towards the start of the film becoming Alex’s coach and motivator during the build-up to the competition. The main theme that stood out to me had to be “respect”. Alex goes through many different obstacles that he wouldn’t have to go through if he was respected by his peers.
I’m not sure calling this a comedy movie fits the narrative and script. Of course, there are some comedic moments but really it feels more like a coming-of-age drama. You see Alex go through highs and lows but most of all you see him grow and flourish within a society and institution that makes it 100 times harder for him to be himself. There are lots of lessons and morals present here but above all is that for society to have true equality we need to respect one another.
The 32nd Alliance Française French Film Festival runs from the 2 Mar-20 Apr, 2021. Miss will be showing in cities across Australia. You can catch it in Melbourne from 28-30 March