The latest film from French auteur Laurent Cantet (the Palme d’Or-winning “The Class”) is set in an impeccably evoked small town in the U.S. of the 1950s, but the story set there involving the titular girl gang, which clocks in at a hefty 143 minutes, is dramatically repetitive and somewhat inert. For his adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel, Cantet decided to work again with young, non-professional actors as in “The Class,” but to diminishing returns here. His lead, Raven Adamson, who plays the most daring of the girls and their de-facto leader, Legs, is appropriately spunky, but she’s surrounded by quite a few half-drawn characters that the inexperienced girls playing them have a hard time breathing any life into. “Foxfire” was reportedly culled from hundreds of hours of footage with the novel as a blueprint template, but Cantet and his four (!) editors nonetheless struggle to find a satisfying overall arc that convinces dramatically and emotionally. Criticwire grade: C+ [Boyd van Hoeij]
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