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Sarah Prefers to Run 2013

  • Chloé Robichaud
  • July 7, 2013
  • 96 mins
  • French
  • Drama
When Sarah has a chance to go to a first class university and to join its premiere athletic club, her suburban mother is fearful of the change and refuses to help financially. But Sarah's roommate knows that they will get a grant if they marry. Sarah agrees but only to discover that her true heart lies elsewhere. Sarah prefers to run.

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A particularly understated character study of a young woman who puts her track career before all else.

It is hard, though, to get emotionally invested in a character who is as withdrawn and single-minded as Sarah. We may be able to imagine the overwhelming desire Sarah must feel for her sport, based on her choices, but we don't necessarily feel that desire. There is no euphoric 'runner's high' to be found here.

There may be a sort of humour in Sarah's naïve, singular focus (such as her taking a pass on her wedding night dinner), but if there is, it kind of gets lost in the subtitles for me. Perhaps a Quebecois viewer would find more to 'get'.

Sophie Desmarais' enormous, potentially-expressive eyes seem to take in everything around her, but permit only rare glimpses of a deeper self within. But perhaps that is the point — that Sarah is only fully herself when running, and running is her sole means of processing the confusion and turmoil that resides in many other aspects of her life.

Did I say 'processing'? Perhaps I mean 'avoiding'.

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