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Roland Wolf wants to write a book about a TV game-show host, the hail-fellow-well-met Christian Legagneur, who invites Wolf to his country estate, promising several days of lengthy interviews. But Legagneur's laughter and easy intimacy are empty of content for a book, and he's constantly dashing off, promising Wolf more time later. Wolf seems to have his own mask: he's brought a gun with him, and he's curious about a woman who was a recent guest at the estate. There's also Legagneur's godchild, Catherine, recovering from mental illness, and hovered over by Legagneur and his secretary. As Wolf digs through desks, he discovers a murderous plot. Can he now outfox his host? Written by
I have to hand it to Claude Chabrol. He certainly has an eye for casting his leading ladies. For 'Masques', here we have Anne Brochet in her first feature film. From the moment we first lay eyes on her, she comes over both mysterious and enigmatic. Chabrol cleverly does not allow us to see her eyes -- she is wearing sun glasses due to still convalescing from a past medical condition. When her eyes are finally revealed, we indeed see Chabrol's casting astuteness. Oh-La-La ... such wonderful peepers. Brochet is very reminiscent of Emmanuelle Béart here.
This is one of the more conventional mystery/thrillers from Chabrol. Essentially a detective story of Roland, who's sister has disappeared in mysterious circumstances. His investigations lead him to her last known whereabouts -- the country home of game show host Christian Legagneur. Roland poses as a journalist under the pretext of interviewing Legagneur for a book. Here he meets, and falls in love with, Legagneur's god daughter Catherine. Is it she who holds the key to the disappearance of Roland's sister? Watch the film to find out.
'Masques' is probably not one of Chabrol's finest but interesting none the less. Certainly worth a look for both Anne Brochet as the child like Catherine and Philippe Noiret's wonderfully over the top performance as the game show host. As in all Chabrol films, people are never quite what they seem. Unfortanately, the villain of the piece is revealed a tad too early in this one. To be fair tho, Chabrol does salvage the film in the final act.
Full of the usual fair of fine food .. fine wine .. and a few cigars smoked. Worth a look.
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