IMDb > La cérémonie (1995)
La cérémonie
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La cérémonie (1995) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
20 December 1996 (USA) See more »
The upper-class owner of a gallery, Catherine Lelievre, hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie to... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
9 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
No angels in this movie See more (51 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Claude Chabrol 
Writing credits
Ruth Rendell (novel "A Judgment in Stone")

Claude Chabrol  and
Caroline Eliacheff 

Produced by
Christoph Holch .... co-producer
Marin Karmitz .... producer
Ira von Gienanth .... co-producer
Original Music by
Matthieu Chabrol 
Cinematography by
Bernard Zitzermann 
Film Editing by
Monique Fardoulis 
Production Design by
Daniel Mercier 
Art Direction by
Daniel Mercier 
Costume Design by
Corinne Jorry 
Makeup Department
Cédric Chami .... hair stylist
Cédric Chami .... makeup artist
Jocelyne Lemery .... hair stylist
Jocelyne Lemery .... makeup artist
Thi-Loan Nguyen .... hair stylist
Thi-Loan Nguyen .... makeup artist
Production Management
Yvon Crenn .... production manager
Catherine Pierrat .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pierre Armengol .... assistant director
Cécile Maistre .... first assistant director
Anne Perron .... assistant director
Daphné Rosenbom .... assistant director
Art Department
Didier Dubedout .... assistant decorator
Pierre Galliard .... assistant decorator
Ivan Niclass .... assistant set decorator
Vincent Stadelmann .... assistant decorator
Marie Taulen .... assistant decorator
Jean-Paul Trincat .... assistant decorator
Sound Department
Christian Fontaine .... sound assistant
Jean-Louis Lebras .... sound assistant
André Naudin .... foley artist
Gadou Naudin .... foley artist
Philippe Richard .... sound assistant
Jean-Bernard Thomasson .... sound
Claude Villand .... sound
Special Effects by
Dominique Colladant .... special effects
Jean-Pierre Maricourt .... special effects (as Jean-Pierre Moricourt)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eric Baraillon .... electrician
Jean-Pierre Baronsky .... electrician
Eric Bonnaire .... grip
Sophie Charrière .... assistant camera
Fabienne Delaleau .... assistant camera
Jean-Baptiste Dutreix .... grip
Michel Garçon .... electrician
Vincent Kotwas .... aerial photographer
Jérémie Nassif .... still photographer
Charlet Recors .... aerial photographer
Dominique Robert .... grip
Michel Thiriet .... camera operator
Richard Vidal .... electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Anne-Marie Castaño-Padovan .... costumer
Paule Mangenot .... costumer
Hélène Robin .... costumer
Editorial Department
Florence Poulain .... assistant editor
Olivier Rossignol .... assistant editor
Music Department
Laurent Petitgirard .... conductor
Other crew
Bruno Bernard .... administrator
Olivier Bouthillier .... partnership
Aurore Chabrol .... script supervisor
Aline Corneille .... administrator
Nathalie Gorgon .... assistant press attache
Henry Le Turc .... administrator
Eva Simonet .... press attache
Richard Verganzonez .... caterer
Gisèle Vuillaume .... administrator
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La Cérémonie" - International (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
112 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The film Jaqueline Bisset and Valentin Merlet watching is Wedding in Blood (1973).See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in To Each His Own Cinema (2007)See more »


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34 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
No angels in this movie, 29 November 2000
Author: KuRt-33 ( from Antwerp, Belgium

In "La Cérémonie" one of my favourite actresses, Virginie Ledoyen, not only gets to play a vital role, but also share a movie with her favourite actress (Isabelle Huppert). Huppert plays the other vital role.

A rich family is looking for a housekeeper. They choose Sophie (Sandrine Bonnaire), a slightly cold woman. Much sooner than the family we find out why she's so cold: she can't read. Her employers are Georges Lelièvre and his second wife. They have a son and (from his previous marriage) a daughter Melinda (played by Virginie). Melinda looks at Sophie as somebody who helps around the house (rather than 'the maid' as her parents call Sophie). Every now and then Melinda tells Sophie she shouldn't let her father walk over her. Melinda likes her father, but thinks of him as a fascist. She isn't the only one: the lady from the postal office (Jeanne, Huppert's role) thinks so too. But soon we find out she hates all the people with money. Georges hates Jeanne too: he's sure she opens and reads his mail. He also mistrusts her because her child was badly burnt (even though Jeanne was cleared - because there was no proof she wounded her child on purpose).

But wait, there's more: Sophie's father died in a fire. Sophie was interrogated, but soon dropped off the suspects' list. Sophie and Jeanne feel there's a bond between them because of their past ("nobody could prove we had anything to do with it"). The longer Sophie knows Jeanne, the ruder she becomes.

Director Claude Chabrol doesn't pass judgment. He doesn't tell us whether Jeanne and Sophie are guilty or not. He only shows them how this affects the rest of their lives and of the lives of the Lelièvre family. Because it soon becomes clear that Jeanne wants revenge and tries to get Sophie on her side. Jeanne is revengeful and full of contempt, Sophie gets ruder all the time, Georges expects too much of Sophie and his wife is incredibly posh. You don't get angels in this movie. But it is Melinda who is crucial to how you watch this film (she's the most 'normal' character). Melinda is the bridge between her parents and Sophie. It's Melinda who finds out Sophie's secret. And Melinda is the person responsible for the crescendo and denouement of the film.

Chabrol films this in his usual style: the camera likes to slide around the house. It observes. The viewer is the one who can decide who's to blame more for what happens. The viewer is always right. (Wait a second... no, I'll take that back.)

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