French actress Noémie Merlant was one of the emerging stars of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, earning her share of accolades including a Cesar Award nomination for the passionate love story. Merlant finds herself in an unusual roller coaster romance in Jumbo, a film that caused quite a stir at Sundance last year, and you’re about to see why.
Debuting filmmaker Zoé Wittock wrote and directed Jumbo, which centers on a lonely, shy young amusement park employee who grows infatuated with a Tilt-A-Whirl ride. Yeah.
There’s considerably more going on than that, of course, as Wittock explores sexual awakening and identity through this most bizarre of allegories. Still, Jumbo is an affecting film and you should seek it out on February 19th when it hits virtual cinemas, then VOD/DVD on March 16th.
Jeanne, a shy young woman, lives at home with her uninhibited bartender mother and works the graveyard shift as a cleaner at an amusement park. Her mother wants her to meet a man, but Jeanne prefers tinkering in her bedroom with wires, light bulbs, and spare parts, creating miniature versions of theme park rides. During her late-night shifts, she begins spending intimate time with the alluring new Tilt-A-Whirl ride that she decides to call Jumbo. Finding herself seduced by “his” red lights, smooth chrome, and oily hydraulics, Jeanne concludes that the thrilling new relationship she wants to pursue is with Jumbo.