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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Agnes of God or the Fall of the House of Chaligny

Author: dbdumonteil
6 July 2009

"Agnes De Rien" is a movie in which the plot does not matter much,it's all in the atmosphere ; an old castle where four people live : an old gaga lady (Yvonne De Bray)who became crazy after her husband's death and who thinks she is Mrs Lafarge ,a notorious poisoner;her daughter ,Alix,married to an alcoholic (Paul Meurisse) ;and a servant.

Enter Agnes (Danielle Delorme) who married Alix's brother ,who left the castle a long time ago to lead a bohemian life (we're told he is a painter).Agnes came to see her mother-in-law -that's what she says- to get some money to help the artist who ,like so many others,seems to be broke .

This is a lugubrious movie,not for all tastes : not exactly an action-packed movie,it depicts a family in a state of total decay."Agnes De Chaligny" is actually "Agnes De Rien" (Agnes of Nothing).Her affair with her brother-in-law is anything but romantic. The negative of a fairy tale.A very black cinematography.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Less Stately Mansions

7/10
Author: writers_reign
8 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How referential is this? Let me count the ways. Gene O'Neill would certainly have been on mourning terms with these dysfunctionals measuring out their lives in the old homestead where the angst is as high as a melancholic's eye and if it comes to that Edgar Allan Poe may well have had an architectural hand in the genesis of the Gothic pile. There's a sequence right out of Wuthering Heights, a nod to Jo Von Sternberg and ... oh, well, you get the picture. Somehow Daniele Delorme never really registered with me despite the odd tasty credit such as Voici les temps des assassins which was still six years away when this was made. Paul Meurisse on the other hand has long been a favourite. As another poster has said this is all about atmosphere rather than plot and in that department I have to say dix sur dix.

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dark and insane

8/10
Author: happytrigger-64-390517 from France
20 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I always try any movie with Paul Meurisse, and in Agnès de Rien, from the very beginning, his character is strong, dark and insane. Typical Gothic atmosphere in a castle where the delicate Danièle Delorme arrives to see her family, Paul Meurisse and Yvonne de Bray, discovering their scary way of life. Very few characters but insane sequences.

From beginning to end, Agnès de Rien is absolutely hopeless and desperate, no sign of comedy. The director Pierre Billon is also the adapter, and his filmography might reveal us some other dark movies with the same despair we find in Clouzot or Duvivier, remember l'Homme au Chapeau Rond with Raimu.

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