Bare (2015), Dir. Natalia Leite

Bare (2015), Dir. Natalia Leite
You’ve never been to the ocean? That’s like... you know, things tears are made of.
— Pepper, Bare (2015)

Stars: Dianna Agron, Paz de la Huerta, Chris Zylka, Louisa Krause, Mary Price Moore.
Director: Natalia Leite
Screenplay: Natalia Leite

This film delivers on the beautiful from the setting, the cinematography, the light and colouring, and the phenomenal acting from Dianna Agron and Paz de la Hureta. Agron (playing Sarah Barton) has now proven that she can not only star in a lead role but make a film soar as she takes this small big girl, small town affair and turns it into a transcendence off the screen.

Her gaze out onto the barren landscape that surrounds her town is mesmerising because it not only looks out but allures you to look in. Her quiet acting is happening all over her face, the slight vacancy of her expressions from her eyes makes you wonder how much she is focusing on what she is seeing or rather what her mind is thinking. There are not many who would trust their eyes to emote what is happening underneath but Agron seems to have the confidence in her abilities as an actress and in her director to let the camera reflect her inner being. 

This film is about Sarah who is living in a town that does not offer much in regards to any life other than the one she is currently living. Living in her mother's house and working at the local Super Town—which she is quickly fired from—there is not many options in terms of career other than the Dairy Dream or working at her boyfriends place of work. Going nowhere fast she unexpectedly comes across Pepper (Paz de la Hureta) who has been sleeping in her dead fathers vintage shop which is currently up for sale. From the moment she meets Pepper, Sarah starts to rethink how her life is going—even though she already knew it was going nowhere. Pepper has this seductive allure that interests Sarah; at first she is slightly repulsed at her attitude but is slowly reeled into her demeanour and starts to spend her time around her.

As she delves deeper into Pepper's world—that Pepper neither encourages or discourages—Sarah learns more about herself and how Pepper actually sees her as someone more than how the rest of the world sees her. Sarah, the girl who has never seen the ocean has now fallen into the life of the night; working as a stripper, taking drugs, while still telling everyone that she has a job at the Dairy Dream. 

The chemistry between Hureta and Agron is comforting to watch. Sarah's instant intrigue is silently encouraged by Pepper. Pepper enjoys the attention but not in a way to play with Sarah's innocence but rather from her own admiration for the girl who doesn't seem to fit the world she lives in. The attraction between the two characters is intense but also patient, Pepper waits for Sarah to come to her rather than making any obvious moves. Agron does such a perfect job in expressing her attraction to this mysterious women in a far more natural way than this film requires and again that comes from Agron's ability to just use her eyes to tell so much.

Simply beautiful film from beginning to end.