Entertainment » Movies

Peppermint Soda

by Sam Cohen
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Feb 12, 2019
Peppermint Soda

Last year, there was a film about an eighth-grader released into theaters that received praise from just about everyone who saw it. No, it's not the one directed by Bo Burnham. "Peppermint Soda," director/writer Diane Kurys' first feature released in a brand-new 2K restoration by Cohen Media Group last year and now it's available on Blu-ray. Not unlike the popular "Eighth Grade," Kurys' film about two young women growing up in early 60s France is remarkably clear-eyed and honest about the joys, troubles and pains of adolescence.

Anne and Frédérique Weber (Eléonore Klarwein and Odile Michel, respectively) are sisters both at different stages of morphing into adulthood. 13-year-old Anne is at the stage when sexuality is mostly a guessing game, as her fellow students feed her misinformation that just makes her impatient about growing up. Frédérique is a 15-year-old leaving men smitten in her path and is popular among her peers in school. "Peppermint Soda" chronicles the two young women as they both undergo awakenings of some sort during the year at their strict school. They're also torn between divorced parents and spend most of the time with their mother, who has her own set of romantic entanglements that makes it difficult to raise two highly-impressionable young women.

There's a thorough interview with Diane Kurys on the Blu-ray that provides an unparalleled look into her writing and filming process with "Peppermint Soda." She mentions Francois Truffaut's "The 400 Blows" as one way to depict a coming-of-age tale but makes it clear that she saw a different way to go about it. Drawing from her own memories of growing up in the early 60s France, a time that had hints of the tumult the country would go through later that decade, Kurys finds the mundanity in daily life as a kid and finds new life in it. As specific to the era as much of the film can get, Kurys has a remarkable hold on what can touch on the universal.

Focusing not just on Anne and Frédérique gives the film the opportunity to showcase how most of us may have grown out of adolescence, but impressions of that phase in life remain. That's why the juxtaposition between Anne rebelling and her mother subsequently breaking down because of it feels so raw. No matter how much our lives vacillate, there's always going to be regression into deep-seated emotions. That's just the risk we run by being human.

This new Blu-ray is loaded with special features that I encourage every buyer of this disc to watch. Not only does the restoration look stunning, but "Peppermint Soda" deserves to not be forgotten by the passage of time. Other special features include:

• Interview with Eléonore Klarwein
• "A Meeting with Yves Simon"
• Scrapbook
• French restoration trailer
• New 2018 U.S. Re-release trailer

"Peppermint Soda"
Cohen Media Group Blu-ray


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