In cimenas this week!
Review by John Glennie
A very well produced French movie where the opening minute sets the scenario – kids at school saying what they want to do when they grow up. Young Alexandre says he wants to be crowned Miss France, and is subsequently ridiculed by his peers who remind him he is a boy!
The movie then moves to the current day and 24 year-old Alex (Alexandre Wetter) is orphaned and living in a communal house with an eclectic mix of people. When he learns of the up-coming Miss France competition he decides to try for it. His “family”, including a drag queen, help him as he tries for the regional competition. He certainly looks the part as Alexandra, but his voice belies his true sexuality and one of the organisers, Amanda (Pascale Arbillot) works out immediately but keeps it to herself.
Alex is consequently crowned Miss Ile-de-France and joins the other regional contestants in the Miss France competition. He shares a room with Miss PACA, the stunning Stéfi Celma, who initially thinks Alex is a junkie because he spends so much time in the bathroom to get changed. When it looks as though Alex is about to get kicked out, Miss PACA – who has also learned Alex’s secret, supports him in his quest.
The movie portrays very well, the dilemnas and emotions encountered by those who try to come to terms with their real self. Alex is initially shunned by the other competitors and turns to her friend Elias Naim, a champion boxer, to give her the mental toughness to succeed.
So, how does it turn out? Does she go through to the final? Does she get caught out? Go and see this delightful and moving film to see the result – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t!
The official promo presents the movie as follows:
|Twenty years ago, Billy Elliot showed us that boys can dance and now Miss will win hearts as it proves that boys can compete in beauty pageants. The new film by Ruben Alves (The Gilded Cage) is a feel-good story about overcoming hardship and prejudice, with a fun and light-hearted commentary on how attitudes towards gender are shaped. It is the best kind of thought-provoking film: one that is celebratory and joyful.|
Ever since childhood Alex (Alexandre Wetter) had wanted to enter the annual Miss France beauty pageant, despite being a boy. However, adolescence was not kind and Alex suffered huge blows to his self-esteem. When an unexpected encounter allows Alex to once more pursue his dreams, he does everything he can to transcend the traditional binary gender definitions that threaten to hold him back.
Miss is the first major acting role for Wetter, a model who has made a career out of defying gender norms. Wetter’s personal journey makes them the perfect person to play Alex in this inspirational film that inspires us to rethink the status quo.