Emilie (Zhang) is a fiery young woman of Chinese descent in Paris, working in a call center. Seeking a roommate, she encounters Camille (Samba), a smart, ambitious black teacher. The two start an affair, which cools quickly — or does it? Later, we encounter the beautiful, vulnerable Nora (Merlant), whose life intersects with both Camille and Emilie. By chance, Nora discovers (Beth), who makes her living doing private sex shows online. Both repelled and fascinated, Nora gradually strikes up a friendship with her. How will all these overheated lives resolve themselves?
Audiard’s entrancing feature feels very of the moment, delving into the messy lives of several twenty-somethings in a bewildering urban landscape where relationships are often transactional and true connections elusive. The restless Emilie seems to be marking time, while asserting her independence from a demanding mother. Though Camille has established a professional path, emotionally he’s no more grounded than Emilie. And Nora, the oldest of the group, seems desperate for a course correction. Beyond the steamy couplings and charged atmosphere, Audiard and his appealing cast really make us care about these characters. Smart, sexy and wise, this “Paris” is well worth a visit.