Nadja is a guest student, who stays at Cité Universitaire and visits the Sorbonne, while preparing a thesis on Proust. Besides her student life she likes to stroll about Paris, to explore ... See full summary »
Two young people, Walter and Charlotte, are walking through a small village in Switzerland a snowy winter day. Walter introduces Charlotte to Clara, hoping to make Charlotte jealous. After ... See full summary »
In Paris outskirts Blanche, a young clerk, befriends Lea, a girl livelier than she is. Lea is going steady with Fabien who is a friend to Alexandre who is going steady with Adrienne but is ... See full summary »
Magali, 45, is a wine producer in the south of France. She's a widow, and her best friend, Isabelle, decides to find her a new husband. She puts an ad in the local newspaper and finds a ... See full summary »
An episodic look at Grace Elliott (1760-1823) and Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, during the French Revolution. In 1790, they are friends, no longer lovers. He suggests she leave France, she warns him to quit the Revolution. In 1792, she must escape Paris on foot. Less than a month later, she returns on an errand of mercy and shows great courage saving the governor of Tuileries. The Duke in turn steps in to protect Grace. In early 1793, she demands a promise from the Duke that he vote to spare Louis's life; he does not, and Grace is furious. In April, he warns her of a search; she is arrested and brought before the committee. Orleans, too, is suspect. The guillotine awaits. Written by
Eric Rohmer seems to have wanted to produce a docudrama, and has made a very interesting go of it. As film fiction, it's not very good, and not even the camera work is engaging. However, many of the film's qualities are worth considering. That gritty, antique, and "real" Paris we crave is by now a cliché. However, Rohmer's computer-enhanced tableaux of revolutionary Paris, by contrast, effectively evoke period art. Indeed they are filmed engravings. Do they "work"? Perhaps not as any sort of realism; however, they remind us that this film is history and philosophy, not just drama. I felt that their deliberate alienation was interesting. The growing terror of the revolution is Rohmer's chief concern. In this film, it is palpable and fearsome, and evokes some of the totalitarianisms of the 20th century. There is certainly a story arc and as much dramatic tension as anyone could ask for. The trial scene is both exciting and intimate. The actor Dreyfus gives a luminous performance -- passionate, thoughtful, riveting. Although this film takes a long time to get itself unwound, one might even be captivated -- de-captivated! -- by the end.
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