Parisian murder detective commissioner Pierre Niemans is called to Gueron, a self-sufficient, prestigious university in a mountain valley, to investigate the murder on 32-year old professor... See full summary »
..which features ,like "the turn of the screw" -which Jack Clayton adapted for the screen under the title "the innocents" (1961)-, a private tutor and a child .But unlike Clayton's unforgettable movie,there is nothing supernatural here.
The film begins quite well,in a castle where ruined aristocrats eat macaroni in porcelaine .The young actor shines as the whizz kid who knows Latin grammar by heart and never had one friend before his teacher came.Particularly successful is the night scene which displays the child's strange culinary preparations.
But when the family has to leave the desirable castle,it's downhill and even the ending -which is not even faithful to James- does not redeem "l'élève".The film becomes a hodgepodge (hotchpotch) which fails totally to convince:from the ball with the old contessa to the French cancan in a brothel,what nonsense.
Fair-haired (dyed) Vincent Cassel is rather ugly,and is outshadowed by his young co-star.
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