#SUNDANCE: “GIRL PICTURE”
By Amanda Gilmore
Best friends Mimmi (Aamu Milonoff) and Rönkkö (Eleonoora Kauhanen) spend their days working at a smoothie shop openly contemplating their sex and love lives. Meanwhile, Emma has given her whole life to figure skating with little time for a social life. Over the course of three Fridays, Mimmi and Emma experience first love and Rönkkö goes on a quest to find something she’s never experienced before: pleasure.
Over the years, many films have attempted to capture the themes of identity and sexuality within female teen-hood. Girl Picture exceeds in this endeavour. Screenwriters Ilona Ahti and Daniela Hakulinen never compromise their characters’ fears and pressures. Therefore, they succeed in creating a story that goes beyond the characters’ sexuality. Additionally, they create three characters that are authentic and complex.
These characters are brought to screen adeptly by the outstanding Cast. Milonoff is mesmerizing as Mimmi, whose struggling with her family and adjusting to the compromises that come with a long-lasting relationship. Leino captivates as Emma, balancing the pressure she feels to get into the European Championships with the blissful days she spends with her first love, Mimmi. And Kauhanen is exquisite in showing the heterosexual Rönkkö’s tireless quest to find someone who can make sex satisfying. Through Rönkkö we get a refreshing take on female sexuality. Is it the men she’s sleeping with, or is she asexual?
Director Alli Haapasalo shoots with an aspect ratio that creates nostalgia for our teenhood. Further, it frames our characters in moments that feel like snapshots — like “girl pictures.” The Director, Screenwriters and Cast know that for girls on the cusp of womanhood, every small moment feels earth-shattering. Therefore, making Girl Picture authentic.
Girl Picture screens virtually at Sundance:
Premiere: Jan. 24 at 4:30PM EST
Second Screening: Jan. 26 at 10AM EST (available for 24hrs)