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 ... See full summary »
Paul, an irritable and stressed-out hotel manager, begins to gradually develop paranoid delusions about his wife's infidelity. As he succumbs to green-eyed jealousy, his life starts to ... See full summary »
Charles Desvallées has good reasons to believe that his wife is cheating on him and hires a P.D. in order to prove himself right. Once he knows the lover is writer Victor Pégala, he drives ... See full summary »
In nineteenth-century France, the romantic daughter of a country squire (Emma Rouault) marries a dull country doctor (Charles Bovary). To escape boredom, she throws herself into love ... See full summary »
Charles is a young provincial coming up to Paris to study law. He shares his cousin Paul's flat. Paul is a kind of decadent boy, a disillusioned pleasure-seeker, always dragging along with ... See full summary »
Marie-Chantal travels by train to her cousin's place to spend a winter holiday, when a stranger - apparently a fugitive from someone aboard - entrusts her with a jewel in the shape of a ... See full summary »
While traveling to a resort in Tunisia, the magician and clairvoyant Professor Vestar befriends the idle millionaire Edouard Vangard and he offers a ride in his car. Vestar discloses to ... See full summary »
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
The eighties were not that much a great time for Claude Chabrol.Most of the works of this era ,either have not worn very well (les fantômes du chapelier,poulet au vinaigre) or were not themes for him anyway (le cheval d'orgueil,Patricia Highsmith's "le cri du hibou")
"Masques " is probably his best since "Violette Nozières" (1978) and nearly matches the brilliance of the late sixties/early seventies heyday.
Completely unpretentious,it's full of humor,suspense and of course gastronomy (is there a Chabrol movie where they do not eat?).A marvelous spoof on these numerous TV shows which take dumbness to new limits, a detective story,this movie is much fun to watch.
Philippe Noiret,overplaying as hell -and he's thoroughly enjoyable-,plays the emcee of a broadcast for old people who sing songs of long ago,("les roses blanches" ,the most maudlin song of the whole French repertoire,crooned by an old man, can be heard on the cast and credits).By no means a caricature, because, we've seen worse on French TV.
And to crown it all,the host uses "HItchcock presents " music to enhance his horrible show.And that's not all!Philippe Noiret's character is Mister LEGAGNEUR (GO-GETTER)
The emcee is so full of himself he asks a young novelist (Renucci) to write his biography.They are to work in the country in Legagneur's desirable property,complete with court and chef .A delightful gallery of weirdoes hangs around:A couple,Roger Dumas ,a wine connaisseur, and Bernadette Laffont,who enjoys reading someone's cards and less commendable things -to think that Laffont was featured in Chabrol's very first ,"le beau Serge" ,in 1958!-;a deaf and dumb chauffeur;two strange servants, one of them relishes with Charlotte Armstrong's detective stories-like Chabrol ,who adapted this writer twice :"la rupture" (1970)and "merci pour le chocolat" (2000)-;and,last but not least,a strange girl (Brochet), Legagneur's goddaughter(sic).She seems very sick,or maybe someone helps her to be sick?
Actually nothing is what it seems .Everybody hides himself behind his mask,including the director ,who puts on his Chabrol mask this time.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?