Quinn plays a retired bakery tycoon, alienated from his two sons and jealously guarding his vast wealth... until a cunning young beauty (Sanda) enters the picture, marries one son, seduces ... See full summary »
Stefan finds that he can no longer tolerate the arrangement of his cheating wife ... he, the husband, gets her during the week and her lover gets her on the weekends. At the same time the ... See full summary »
Clio plays a fun loving girl who likes men. She leaves her home town and meets up with Wilma, a once famous singer. After Wilma bombs out at a local joint they hook up together and become ... See full summary »
Lola is an independent woman, a professional writer with 2 men on a string. Both men are married with children. When the men, and Lola, face having to make choices, Lola's comfortable life ... See full summary »
Based on a true incident, this tells the story of a troubled young man who kills his sister's reactionary, violent and abusive husband and is eventually arrested for the murder. However, ... See full summary »
Some films achieve the inexplicable "art" status by being beautiful, true, as well as emotionally touching, independently of the actors, plot or cinematography. It's as if the film rose from its "material support" so to speak, and you could really see the film as close to how the artist intended it to be. This is one of those rare cases.
We all know the story, but in this case Huppert and the director Bolognini make this stand out from the rest. You will probably have strong feelings for Alphonsine, who plays with the bad cards life has given to her, from her pimp father to her ill health. IMDb reviewer Gerald A. DeLuca is right that there is a sort of "didactic" hammering on our main character spitting blood. Quibbles aside, this superb film is just perfect.
Psychoanalytically it also has interesting things to say, like Plessis treating her daughter like yet another man/ suitor at times, or when she goes to live to the rich man's palace, she is given his MOTHER's room (not his own).
Cinematography does help, as does montage (the scene with Alphonsine in ecstasy followed by the slaughterhouse where she drinks blood, for instance). Of course the classical score, based on Verdi's Traviata but also drawing from other sources, heightens the story. All the male characters become supporting ones compared to Huppert, but of course they are excellent. G. M. Volonté in particular. Wait and see.
Don't miss this film! Utterly enjoyable XIX century melodrama!
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