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

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,481 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 48 critic

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

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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 »

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Features The Atom Ant Show (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Still Impressive After Watching for the Third Time Sixteen Years Later
30 December 2011 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The upper-class owner of a gallery Catherine Lelievre (Jacqueline Bisset) hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie Bonhomme (Sandrine Bonnaire) for working in the family manor in the countryside of France. Her husband Georges Lelievre (Jean-Pierre Cassel), who is an opera lover, her daughter Melinda (Virginie Ledoyen) and her teenage son Gilles (Valentin Merlet) welcome Sophie and appreciate her work.

Sooner Sophie befriends the postmistress Jeanne (Isabelle Huppert), who is a bad egg and encourage 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 to Sophie that he does not want Jeanne in his house, Sophie stands up against him. Melinda discovers her secret and Sophie blackmails her, but Melinda tells her parents what has happened. Georges fire Sophie and she returns to the house later with Jeanne on the rampage with tragic consequences.

"La Cérémonie" is one of the best films of Claude Chabrol and it is still impressive after watching for the third time sixteen years later. The unexpected violent conclusion is probably the source of inspiration for Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" of 1997. It is impossible to the viewer to be not affected by the despicable behavior of Sophie and Jeanne. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Mulheres Diabólicas" ("Evil Women")


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