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La Cérémonie (1995)
"La cérémonie" (original title)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,510 users  
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The upper-class owner of a gallery, Catherine Lelievre, hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie to work in the family manor in the French countryside. Her husband Georges Lelievre, who is... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jeanne la postière
...
Sophie la bonne
...
...
...
Melinda
Valentin Merlet ...
Gilles
Julien Rochefort ...
Jeremie
Dominique Frot ...
Madame Lantier
Jean-François Perrier ...
Priest
Ludovic Brillant
Claire Chiron
Claire-Marie Dentraygues
Jean-Pierre Descheix
Penny Fairclough
Alain Françoise
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Storyline

The upper-class owner of a gallery, Catherine Lelievre, hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie to work in the family manor in the French countryside. Her husband Georges Lelievre, who is an opera lover, her daughter Melinda and her teenage son Gilles welcome Sophie and appreciate her work. Sophie soon befriends the postmistress Jeanne, who is a bad egg and encourages Sophie to rebel against her employers, but the maid stays submissive. However, Sophie is ashamed of a secret and feels uncomfortable in many situations, finding a way to hide her secret. When Georges tells Sophie that he does not want Jeanne in his house, Sophie stands up to him. Melinda discovers her secret and Sophie blackmails her, but Melinda tells her parents what happened. Georges fires Sophie and she returns to the house later with Jeanne on the rampage. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Cérémonie  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$49,843 (USA) (20 December 1996)

Gross:

$670,659 (USA) (21 February 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film Jaqueline Bisset and Valentin Merlet watching is Wedding in Blood (1973). See more »

Connections

Features Top Cat (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
resentment of deep-seated anger and guilt presented upon two working class women with not so nice backgrounds and their revenge
8 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Did anyone see "Murderous Maids"? I saw that before I saw this and felt it had the same sinister undertones. "Murderous Maids", also French and yet a true story came out a few years ago in 2002 I think and "La Ceremonie" came out in 1995. I honestly felt extremely disturbed when I watched this movie,(maybe because I saw the aforementioned one first!) esp. when the two women went back "collect Sophie's things" from her former employer after she was fired for both women to become this Thelma & Louise to get revenge on the family. That is the product of good acting of course and the rest of the cast was perfect. Jacqueline Bisset spoke French like a native speaker. Also you knew they were both up to no good when they seemed to bond closer to the beginning of the movie although Sophie is more reluctant to reveal much about getting away with murder which wasn't "proven" than Isabel Huppert's character. Both admit their "sins" to each other in a dry accusatory way which makes them trust each other. It seems like the characters were all connected in a commentary of class, charity and the attitudes present in this very "homogenous" (to use Jacqueline Bisset's character to describe the opera they later watch) French society-- like the priest, the people donating old clothes and the sort of hypocrisy of the Catholic Church feeling guilty about "helping the poor"--characters over and over saying "it's good to help the poor" yet the two main "bad girl" characters are volunteers at a church not because they are religious but because they want the old cast offs from the rich. Nevertheless the resentment boils over from all the suspicions from the outside and deep seated in them so that they want to get revenge on the richer than they are as some sort of twisted justice which only results in non-fulfillment and frustration, symbolic first as in Sophie's inability to read and write and brings them nowhere.


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