When Betty is caught en flagrante, her bourgeois in-laws and husband force a divorce settlement upon her and bar her from seeing her two daughters. She is rescued from an alcoholic stupor ... See full summary »
Francois comes back to his home village in France after more than a decade. He notices that the village hasn't changed much, but the people have, especially his old friend Serge who has ... 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 »
A group of anarchist leftist called "Nada" and led by the terrorist Buenaventura Diaz abducts the American ambassador Richard Poindexter in a brothel in Paris and brings him to a farm in ... See full summary »
Doctor Popaul doesn't trust beautiful women: he says he prefers "moral beauty". Among colleagues he makes a bet who manages to sleep with the most ugly woman during the next year - and wins... See full summary »
WWII. In German occupied Paris, Helene is torn between the love for her boyfriend Jean, working for the resistance and the German administrator Bergmann, who will do anything to gain her ... 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 »
Anthony Perkins, a young sculptor with a weird penchant for waking up in strange hotels with his memory wiped clean and bloodied hands, invites a former professor (Michel Piccoli) to the ... See full summary »
When Betty is caught en flagrante, her bourgeois in-laws and husband force a divorce settlement upon her and bar her from seeing her two daughters. She is rescued from an alcoholic stupor by Laure, a middle-aged woman who takes Betty to her hotel lodgings, extends friendship and care, and listens to her story. Laure's lover, Mario, the proprietor of the bar where Betty and Laure met, is first a friend, then Betty's next conquest. Written by
I am surprised, and a little dismayed, at how cold and passionless this adaptation of a Simenon book is. I haven't read Betty, but those works of Simenon I am familiar with don't make me reach for the thermostat the way Chabrol's film does. La veuve Couderc, Maigret et l'affaire St-Fiacre, Monsieur Hire, to name just three, have an engagement with life that is sorely lacking in this trifle. Why tell the story in fragmented style, à la Memento or Amores perros, when a straightforward sequential narration would do fine? Why use a character just to describe Betty's emotional states when we can guess at these from the visual evidence? Marie Trintignant conveys Betty's vapid, eager-to-please behaviour very well. Booze does blunt the emotions, increase or decrease aggression, make one sexually irresponsible just as we see on screen. Stéphane Audran as Laure drinks almost as much as Betty, but cannot forget she has feelings, is capable of compassion. Chabrol concentrates on satirizing the bourgeois family to the exclusion of practically everything else in the story.
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