Cinema: Bird in Flight

There are only two ways to beat a cliche: either make fun of it—or do it better than anyone else. Michael Same does both with Joanna—and thereby makes the most dazzling directorial debut of the year.

His heroine (Genevieve Waite) is a Sassoon-style adolescent come down to London to study art. Soon artists start studying Joanna. She plays musical beds with every boy who rubs against her, makes friends with the world, and generally lives without any of the conventional moral hang-ups. The trouble is that the freedom bag turns out to be a prison...