Camille has a lot of intense sex to make up for his frustration with his job as a high school teacher.
Emilie, who dropped out from studying political science, works at a call centre and tends to have brief one-night stands.
Nora ditched her job as a real estate agent in the countryside and wants to study law in Paris.
And Amber Sweet offers erotic services online.
Jacques Audiard tells the story of the thirty-somethings whose paths cross in Paris’ 13th arrondissement. In “Paris, 13th District,” (“Les Olympiades, Paris 13e”) they become friends or lovers and sometimes both.
Audiard is known for embracing daring new things. After his western “The Sisters Brothers” and the refugee drama “Demons and Miracles,” this film tells the story of young adults who are seeking, grappling with their sexual orientation in the age of dating apps, searching for love – and above all for identity.
Emilie is Chinese and has limited contact with her family. After she loses her job at the call centre, she needs to find someone to share her apartment.
Camille answers her ad. He’s a frustrated high school teacher who wants uncomplicated sex and is not interested in a committed relationship.
Barely has he introduced himself, he becomes her lover and moves in. He moves out again just as fast as Emilie becomes jealous of his new partners, including Nora.
In her early 30s, Nora has come to Paris from the provinces to resume her law studies after years of working as a real estate agent for her uncle.
She soon abandons her dreams of law. She goes to a party in a blonde wig and is mistaken for camgirl Amber Sweet. She agrees to a selfie that is then widely shared online. At the university, people bully her, calling her a whore.
Nora contacts Amber and they start a dialogue online – and a lesbian love affair.
Job changes, bullying and loneliness: Audiard portrays a generation that has discarded traditional codes in the age of Tinder and is looking for love and relationships. His film is based on three comics by the well-known New York author Adrian Tomines.
Audiard has tended to give us male film heroes in the past but this time he co-wrote the script with Léa Mysius (“Ava”) and Céline Sciamma, who won several awards with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” about an affair between two women in the 18th century.
Their influence is clear to see. The film is a far cry from Audiard’s past works which were usually packed with violence. “Paris, 13th District” is startling for its humour and the lightness with which the film shows sexuality and female desire.