Louise Créteur's husband dies on the Titanic trying to emigrate, so she must leave their boy Lucien with her old dad in Honfleur and leave the Normandy countryside for greater Paris. She ...
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Louise Créteur's husband dies on the Titanic trying to emigrate, so she must leave their boy Lucien with her old dad in Honfleur and leave the Normandy countryside for greater Paris. She becomes a maid in the run-down Villa des Roses, a dodgy pension run by crafty retired barrister Hugh Burrell and his frivolous, posh wife Olive, an international home to has-beens and would-bes. Louside becomes the lover of German painter, but fears he's not committed and has an abortion. Fate changes, at the eve of World War I. Written by
Even though I haven't read the book this movie was based on, I'm sure that it must be a lot better than the movie itself. Willem Elschot, the writer who wrote the book is seen as one of our finest and his books are considered as masterpieces, but I'm afraid I can't say the same about this movie. I'm not saying that it is bad, but it just isn't good enough and I'm sure that Willem Elschot wouldn't have been too happy with this rather sterile adaptation of his book either.
It's sterile because there are too many questions that are left unanswered. Not that I always want everything to be clear even before the movie ends. I like intellectually challenging movies, but this time you never really get to know the characters, you'll not find out what drives them, what exactly happens to them, why they all live in that lousy hotel in Paris that once must have been a marvelous villa... It all looks very gray and dull, even though the "relationship" between the maid and the German tries to bring some light to it. But it isn't enough to stay focused on the entire story.
Maybe you think now that this movie must be the worst ever, well that's not true either. Frank Van Passel is still a very talented director and he had an excellent cast to work with. Some moments in the movie were absolutely great (for instance the abortion scene was very chilling), but it was never enough to cover all the holes in the plot. I give this movie a 6.5/10.
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