The debut feature from writer director Zoé Wittock is a noticeably non-traditional take on young romance. Jumbo stars Noémie Merlant — familiar to audiences as the star of arthouse hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire — as Jeanne, a shy young woman who works the late shift as a cleaner at an amusement park. She lives with her mother, who is desperate for her to find a man, but Jeanne is far more interested in tinkering with the lights, bulbs and wiring she uses to create miniature versions of theme park rides.
When love does arrive in Jeanne’s life, it isn’t the kind her mother would have wanted. Indeed, Wittock’s widely-praised comedy-drama explores a different kind of forbidden romance, as Jeanne is seduced by the park’s new Tilt-A-Whirl rid, which she decides to name Jumbo. Praised in The Guardian as a “gentle plea for acceptance and understanding”, this indie love-story might have one of the most bizarre premises of the year, but it is well worth seeking out.