Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, Girl Picture (dir. Alli Haapasalo) is a touching, heartwarming depiction of the growing pains of youth and the yearning for love. Mimmi and Rönkkö, the inseparable friends, are in search of themselves and look for love by various means. Mimmi develops a crush on an ambitious figure skater Emma, while Rönkkö explores her own identity and sexuality at various house parties.
Budding Finnish film stars Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen and Linnea Leino win our hearts over with their sincerity and frankness. The film builds a sweet atmosphere, portraying feelings of ecstatic love, the insecurity when flirting with someone for the first time and giggling in the closeness of one’s crush.
Laudably dismissing typical coming-out-of-the-closet depictions, the focus of the film remains on the chemistry between the characters. Daniela Hakulinen and Ilona Ahti have created a script that is both balanced and light. The characters are complex and difficult all the while completely relatable.
D.O.P. Jarmo Kiuru’s handheld cinematography and a boxy aspect ratio embed the scenes in realism, counterbalanced by a soundtrack that lifts the moments high up above. (Otto Kylmälä)