This parody of the detective-story genre merrily detours into spoofing French foibles as well, making it more of an exercise in verbal gymnastics than a narrative with a mission. Esther is ... See full summary »
A provocative erotic drama, stylishly rendered by Andre Techine, who won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this compelling investigation into the intersection of sexual and artistic passion.
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This parody of the detective-story genre merrily detours into spoofing French foibles as well, making it more of an exercise in verbal gymnastics than a narrative with a mission. Esther is a veterinarian who is certain that her sister has been murdered by her brother-in-law. She convinces two members of the Academie Francaise, the prestigious institution that protects the virginity of the French language, to investigate. Both men are enamored of the woman and are quite willing to enter into competition for her favors. As might be expected from academicians of any ilk, they are inept at digging into a murder mystery and bumble their way through one incident after another. Corpses continue to pile up (not in front of the camera, however) while the two men are sidetracked by their interest in language. Given their positions, they do not want that murdered either. Written by
I caught this movie on cable last night and was intrigued by the presence of Juliette Binoche in a movie I had never heard of. THis is not the usual Binoche movie. She does not give her usual decorious performance, because it doesn't have the depth. The odd story tells us about Esther Bouloire (Binoche) who believes her sister has been murdered by her brother in law (Hence the title). She enlists two vastlt older professors Etienne and Octave (Serrault & Piccoli) to help her uncover the truth. However these amourous gents are more interested in Esther than in the mystery, which is revealed in a twist at the end. What is good about the movie is its caper like tone. Binoche (then barely 25) is utterly georgeos, viewers understand why the two gents like her so much. The elderly duo are funny as they bumble along and fall over each other literally to help Esther. However Rouffio fails to inject the comedy with enough narrative drive, eventually we want to know who killed her. This film is a curio. Watch it for that alone.
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