‘Forever Young’ Review: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Intimate Acting School Drama Is Her Best Film Yet

Turning on the waterworks and ripping open her blouse to cap a performance of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “The Respectful Prostitute,” aspiring actress Stella (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) concludes her audition for France’s most prestigious theatre school with a question from the jury.

As he puffs a cigarette and speaks the first lines of dialogue written expressly for this film, an inscrutable juror looks to the ingénue and asks, “Do you think an actress needs to be an exhibitionist?”In that opening, we find the fulcrum for Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s “Forever Young.” Asking the same question to the audience and to herself — with the Stella character a clear analogue for the director — Bruni Tedeschi dances around a definitive answer, turning out an autobiographical portrait that somehow leaves you knowing less about the subject at hand, and a study of actors, warts and all, that offers little insight into the artistic process.

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