A Skin So Soft (Ta peau si lisse) (NR)

Documentary 93 min. June 15, 2018
By Simon Abrams
Canadian filmmaker Denis Coté holds up a shallow mirror to the world of bodybuilding in the underwhelming experimental documentary A Skin So Soft, a dialogue-light portrait of six professional Canadian weightlifters who perform a variety of exercise routines, including hoisting barbells and hauling tractor tires.

Coté (Vic + Flo Saw a Bear, Bestiaire) stresses the self-conscious nature of his mountainous -- and, within the film, never explicitly named -- subjects by focusing on how much they flex, pump and preen for their partners, family members and competitors. Unfortunately, viewers unacquainted with weightlifting probably won't learn much about Coté's musclemen or their sport just by watching them fuss over their appearances: Ronald Yang takes a series of selfies from a high angle by dangling his phone from a rope tied to his garage ceiling; Alex Légaré practices showing off his muscles -- pectorals, side chest, back muscles, etc. -- with his unnamed girlfriend; and Benoit Lapierre meekly explains to a photographer that he doesn't like to smile in vanity shots since he dislikes the way his teeth look when framed by his Rasputin-like chest-length beard.
Denis Côté Jean-François Bouchard, Cédric Doyon, Benoit Lapierre, Maxim Lemire, Alexis Légaré, Ronald Yang Denis Côté Breaking Glass Pictures

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