'‘Love According to Dalva’ Review: Superb Study of Girlhood

Dalva’ Review: Superb Study of Girlhood

The title

character of writer-director Emmanuelle Nicot’s feature debut “Love According to Dalva” is not like

The 12-year-old

dresses like a “lady,” as one of the girls at the youth shelter she’s

There are

lace blouses and prim skirts, there are pearl earrings and a dowdy updo

Dalva (Zelda

Samson) looks not so much like someone wanting to look older as she does like

Nicot tracks

the way Dalva will find her way back to being and feeling like the girl

When we

first meet Dalva, it’s not immediately clear why she’s so dissimilar from girls

This is

because she’s introduced to us as she’s kicking and screaming as the police

The words

“incest” and “pedophile” are thrown her way

There’s been

nothing untoward about her (sexual) relationship with her father

Much of

“Love According to Dalva” keeps audiences close to the character

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