It's Theo's 18th birthday and he's spending it alone, getting drunk at a punk rock show. While ordering a beer a teenage girl behind him remarks on the tattoo Theo has on his arm, noticing it's fake. From there Mag invites him to spend the night on her place, but before long the two realize their budding romance has an expiration date: Theo is set to leave Montreal at the end of the summer. This bittersweet freedom engulfs their endless afternoons and evenings spent together, aware that all good things must end.
Imbued with naturalistic performances from its leads and an eye for youth culture, Fake Tattoos is an iridescent ode to the textures of adolescence and first love. Pascal Plante's debut feature premiered at Slamdance, Berlin, Seattle; FNC - Festival du Nouveau Cinema, where it won the Grand Prix; and Rhode Island, where it won Best Director.
"A touchingly real romance between two young rock fans on the streets of Montreal that's as vibrant, sweet and brief as first love itself… There's an enveloping warmth to Plante’s tender script and DP Vincent Allard’s buoyant images that belie the loose-limbed, offhand rhythm. It's as though the film itself is constantly surprised— like its attractive protagonists— that there's more here than just a fleeting one-night stand. Dialogues that could easily peter out instead flow conversationally in longish unbroken takes… That mixture of the ephemeral and the eternal is what Fake Tattoos understands and enshrines so sweetly, permanently inking in a vivid, unsmudged outline of young love that's as hokey and touching and sincere as a heart with a dagger through it"
"Like a slightly longer— and decidedly more heterosexual— version of Andrew Haigh's Weekend… Plante has a good eye for both the details of contemporary courtship— the Facebook stalking; the YouTube-videos-in-bed ritual; the use of an iPhone's speakerphone option— and the timeless awkwardness of hookups, like when Theo can't manage to get Mag out of her skinny pants or unhook her bra"
"Plante definitely manages to stick to his strengths, though, with this film being absolutely wall-to-wall with brilliantly observed dialogue. The characters' exchanges in this film are so on point and fresh, they often almost seem ad libbed. The film's sort of grungey, Nirvana-esque cinematography also always manages to mix colour with hints of darkness too, creating a very uniform visual style that definitely sucks you into a very clearly defined world of musical culture"
"In an age where punk aesthetics are sufficiently mainstream that corporate monoliths like McDonalds seek to leverage them to sell chicken wraps, [the film's] modesty, modernity, magic work to its advantage. The soundtrack seems credible to me, gigs and guitars are well captured, but it's smaller details— crowds in cafes, pecking-orders and pickings-on in public parks— that are sometimes strongest. The fact that it's made decisions about the surface that reveal absences beneath, the balance of its artistry between temporary recreations of permanence, it's all weight, power, in service of something lovely"