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New Release Review - BUTTERCUP BILL

Two childhood friends are drawn into a psycho-sexual relationship.


Review by Emily Craig

Directed by: Remy Bennett, Emilie Richard-Froozan

Starring: Remy Bennett, Evan Louison, Pauly Lingerfelt, Mallory June




"Buttercup Bill, although extremely well shot and beautiful, concerns itself more with style rather than story and character development. That being said, the acting is strong, with both leads showing true emotion."





Buttercup Bill is the first feature film from Blonde to Black Pictures, who have previously only produced shorts. The ambitious film is directed by Emilie Richard-Froozan and Rémy Bennett, who also stars as one of the leads in the film.
The film’s main characters, Patrick (Evan Louison) and Pernilla (Rémy Bennett) rekindle their detached relationship after their mutual friend Flora passes away. The creators of the film have personally compared the film to Terence Malick’s 1974 film Badlands, and so it is clear to see that the inspiration of the character Patrick comes from Martin Sheen’s Kit, a James Dean-like persona.
In Buttercup Bill, the couple has been out of touch for years, but once together again they cannot be separated. Described as a psycho-sexual relationship, the romance between the two lost souls borders on incest; they continually insist throughout the film that their bond is purely sibling-like but their sexual desire for one another becomes too strong. This element of the film is particularly spine-tingling, yet disturbing, as the audience watch as they play jealousy games with one another.
Visually, the film is beautiful. There is a real sense of innocence with the use of mise-en-scene; the characters only wear white (or very pale) clothing to symbolize the characters' purity; ironically, as the plot unravels, the characters become less and less innocent, and in the disturbing reveal in the last five minutes, all sense of innocence is lost. There are elements of surrealism in the film, which feel David Lynch-like in tone. There are flashbacks throughout of Patrick when he was a little boy wearing a cowboy hat; in these flashbacks he is seen playing with Pernilla and another mystery girl. These scenes are extremely well shot and haunting to watch, especially when you discover what these flashbacks represent.
Sadly, I feel that Buttercup Bill, although extremely well shot and beautiful, concerns itself more with style rather than story and character development. The film is clearly a character study and yet I feel like there needs to be more expansion in order for the audience to gain more from the film. There are a lot of stylish dreamlike scenes, which I think are slightly wasted here and take away from the depth that they could have gone into in terms of building up the story for a more balanced film.
That being said, the acting is strong, with both leads showing true emotion led by an all-female crew, which is great to see as the film industry is gaining more strong women producers and directors. It’s shot phenomenally well with the potential of amazing character development, but is just too lacklustre for me.




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