MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,313 this week

Cousin Bette (1998)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  12 June 1998 (USA)
6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,866 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 18 critic

Cousin Bette is a poor and lonely seamstress, who, after the death of her prominent and wealthy sister, tries to ingratiate herself into lives of her brother-in-law, Baron Hulot, and her ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 11 Jun 2011
 
a list of 1784 titles
created 19 Feb 2012
 
a list of 66 titles
created 17 Apr 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 42 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Cousin Bette" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Cousin Bette (1998)

Cousin Bette (1998) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Cousin Bette.
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Cousin Bette (TV Mini-Series 1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A poor and homely spinster, who feels she's been walked on all her life, teams up with a scheming courtesan to wreak elaborate revenge on her rich and handsome relatives.

Stars: Margaret Tyzack, Thorley Walters, Helen Mirren
Molly (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A bachelor becomes the unwilling guardian of his autistic, retarded sister; then an experimental treatment works a dramatic change in her brain and his attitude.

Director: John Duigan
Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Aaron Eckhart, Jill Hennessy
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A silent comedy. Two accident-prone plumbers go to fix the plumbing at a home for retired gentle-folk on the coldest day of the year in Finland. Everything that can go wrong for these ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Sykes
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Eric Sykes, Eila Roine
O Pioneers! (TV Movie 1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Alexandra Bergson (Jessica Lange) inherits the family farm and struggles to carve a home and a fortune from the windswept prairie. Along the way, she forfeits her one chance for love, but ... See full summary »

Director: Glenn Jordan
Stars: Jessica Lange, David Strathairn, Tom Aldredge
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In Ireland, Luke Bradley becomes caught between two rival gangs following the murder of his son.

Director: Colm Villa
Stars: Toby Stephens, Jim Norton, James Cosmo
Bonneville (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Three women take a road trip to Santa Barbara in order to deliver the ashes of one of their dead husbands to his resentful daughter.

Director: Christopher N. Rowley
Stars: Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Allen
Captain Jack (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An eccentric seaman puts together an equally eccentric crew with the idea of sailing from northern England to the Artic along the path of Captain Scoresby, a 1791 sea captain.

Director: Robert Young
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Sadie Frost, Gemma Jones
Parting Shots (1998)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After learning he is dying from cancer an failed photographer illegally buys a pistol and decides to go vigilante and get his revenge on all those who have made his life a misery.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Chris Rea, Felicity Kendal, John Cleese
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The true story of Ivan Sanchin, the KGB officer who was Stalin's private film projectionist from 1939 until the dictator's death. Told from Sanchin's view, the sympathetic but tragically ... See full summary »

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy
Stars: Tom Hulce, Lolita Davidovich, Bob Hoskins
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Susan Kodicek
Stars: Ian Bannen, Gregory Gudgeon, Florence Hoath
Hush (1998)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Helen is the young girlfriend of good-looking Jackson Baring. When Helen gets pregnant and marries Jackson, they decide to move to his hometown, Kilronan, and have a baby there. But his ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Darby
Stars: Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnathon Schaech
Radio Inside (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A year after their pious dad's death, just graduated bright, erudite but distracted Matt Anderson, an angelic dreamer who talks with dad's ghost and phones with his confident God, moves in ... See full summary »

Director: Jeffrey Bell
Stars: William McNamara, Elisabeth Shue, Dylan Walsh
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Janie Hargreaves ...
Gillian Martell ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Cousin Bette is a poor and lonely seamstress, who, after the death of her prominent and wealthy sister, tries to ingratiate herself into lives of her brother-in-law, Baron Hulot, and her niece, Hortense Hulot. Failing to do so, she instead finds solace and company in a handsome young sculptor she saves from starvation. But the aspiring artist soon finds love in the arms of another woman, Hortense, leaving Bette a bitter spinster. Bette plots to take revenge on the family who turned her away and stole her only love. With the help of famed courtesan Jenny Cadine she slowly destroys the lives of those who have scorned her. Written by <CherylC894@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | artist | courtesan | baron | spinster | See more »

Taglines:

Who knew deception, treachery and revenge could be this much fun...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La prima Bette  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£44,082 (UK) (11 September 1998)

Gross:

£44,082 (UK) (11 September 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Melanie Lynskey was considered for the role of Hortense Hulot. See more »

Quotes

Mlle. Elisabeth 'Bette' Fisher: For the sake of their pleasure, men commit the most appalling crimes.
See more »

Connections

Version of La cousine Bette (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto for Flute and Harp
, K279
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Arranged by Simon Boswell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A near perfect film. Indulge in revenge without the guilt!
30 December 1998 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that lets one revel in emotions that are generally frowned upon in genteel society. Revenge is one such emotion, and the very black comedy Cousin Bette deals it out in generous portions.

Bette (Jessica Lange) has always lived in the shadow of her more beautiful sister, Adeline. Adeline was always prepared for marriage and society, while Bette became a virtual servant for her family. To make matters worse, Adeline marries the one man Bette loves, the Baron Hulot. The film opens with Adeline on her death bed, listening to the confessions of her adulterous husband and spendthrift son. She makes Bette promise to take care of her family. The malicious grin on Bette's face lets us know what is coming. Bette orchestrates her revenge on each member of the family, with a cunning her family never suspected.

Part of what makes this film so delicious is that none of the characters are really very likeable, but they are all very interesting and well drawn. Even Bette is not someone you would want to welcome into your own family (although she'd make a fascinating guest at a dinner party). The only character who fares even mildly well is Cesar Crevel (Bob Hoskins). A merchant who has become the wealthiest man in Paris, he is attempting to buy his way to respectability. He is at least without pretense, even going so far as to offer 200,000 francs to see Hortense Hulot (the Baron's daughter, played by Kelly MacDonald) naked.

The story follows Bette's attempts to destroy the Baron and his family by manipulating them in their love affairs. The marriage of Hortense is expected to save the family financially, hence the appearance of Crevel. But Hortense loves the penniless Count Wenceslas Steinbach (Aden Young), a sculptor. Meanwhile the Baron has been borrowing from everyone in Paris to keep his mistress, Jenny Cadine. Bette controls all of the characters like a Grand Master.

The backdrop to the film is the decay of the French aristocratic society. Resting on the laurels of the Empire of Napoleon, oblivious to the coming revolution (the film begins in 1846), and in complete denial of the changes around them, we actually cheer for Bette as she systematically destroys the Hulot family. In a way it's the revolution carried out from within, making the fall all the more sweet.

This film is really exceptional. My only criticisms would be that (1) Elisabeth Shue as the famous actress/courtesan Jenny Cadine is merely adequate, (2) it is almost impossible to imagine the stunning Jessica Lange as the "plain" sister, and (3) the characters' accents tend to vary from time to time. The script is intelligent, clever, and realistic. The acting is very strong all around, especially by Lange. Hoskins is terrific, hitting just the right note of a materialistic man trying to be a nobleman, but not quite getting it. The locations and sets are lush and as decadent as one would expect. The direction of Des McAnuff is crisp and assured, the pace even and well controlled.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Underrated? DeMarkov
Count Wenceslas Steinbach LesterFester
Does Anyone Know... pennyjaeger-1
Discuss Cousin Bette (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page