“Normal People”, first kisses and class struggle

First kisses against a backdrop of class struggle. This is the theme of this series which is broadcast from this Monday, February 14, in prime time on France 5, one of the best series of the last season, Normal People.

In high school in a small town in the west of Ireland, two young people are looking for each other and maybe find each other. Problem: they are not from the same social class: the mother of one is a cleaning lady at the home of the other. Connell is an attractive sportsman and loved by all. Marianne, a lonely young girl who does everything to avoid other students.

A story is tied between them: a first love story, sensitive, complicated, sometimes hidden from everyone. That we will see evolve at the same time as the protagonists grow up and go from high school to university. Always torn between their friends, their desires and social pressure.

Normal People, it is the adaptation of a sensitive novel by the British Sally Rooney. She is considered the spokesperson for the Millennial generation. Openly Marxist and feminist, she recounted in her novel the wanderings of a somewhat lost generation, which finds it difficult to engage in feelings and for whom sex sometimes allows them to find themselves.

We find her at the helm of this fair adaptation: she wrote six of the 12 30-minute episodes. The realistic series transcribes with modesty and accuracy these first emotions, these first romantic relationships. We even called in an intimacy counselor, when an almost complete episode recounts almost without words their first physical encounter.

The series is brilliantly led by two actors, one of whom was just out of drama school: Daisy Edgar Jones, in the role of Marianne, and Paul Mescal, in that of Connell, who received last year at the UK Best Actor Award.

A tender series that is reminiscent by its naturalism and its poetry of the films of Éric Rohmer and François Truffaut, the portrait at once modest, romantic but raw of a generation which discovers life.

A sentimental education of today, to discover from Monday February 14, on France 5.

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