There’s no Instagram filter to make teenage life prettier, particularly if you’re a shy fourteen year old girl. Leonie Krippendorff’s second feature film Cocoon explores just that. It’s as raw as a skinned knee: truthful, poignant and beautiful.
Nora (a superb, understated Lena Urzendowsky) is going through typical teen shit. She’s a late developer, getting her first period in front of the whole school, at a time when she longs for a perfect body like the attractive, seemingly confident girls around her Berlin neighbourhood.
Things at home are equally challenging. Her mother is a neglectful alcoholic, and her sister is loving but accepted by her school clique.
She seems destined to spend her days in an awkward cringe, until she meets and falls in love with new girl Romy (an equally brilliant performance from Jelia Haase) who teaches her how to love, smoke and hold her head up.
With unflinching camera work and gorgeous lighting, this could have been another typical coming of age summer film. But Krippendorff’s eye is neither sentimental, nor prurient, and the result is a perfectly pitched teenage drama that dodges adolescent film clichés with delicacy and sensitivity. You’ll remember the firsts in your life, smile, and be thankful for hindsight.
Out via Peccadillo Pictures on December 11th, VOD.