Un coeur simple (2008) Poster

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8/10
Unsentimental and all the more poignant
guy-bellinger6 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
For her first feature film Marion Laine did not choose the easy way out. She dared adapt a classic French writer (Gustave Flaubert, famous all over the world for "Madame Bovary"), she did not shy away from making a period piece (although things are made easier by the fact that the scene is set in the country). And she gave her two main actresses (Sandrine Bonnaire as the kind-hearted naive heroine and Marina Foïs as her emotionally repressed employer) a memorable role.

Her main quality, however, and what makes this adaptation a success, is her refusal of sentimentality. Although Félicité goes through misfortune after misfortune, "Un Coeur simple" has nothing of a tear jerker. Marion Laine's touch is sharp, her vision of the rural reality in nineteenth century Normandy naturalistic and documentary-like and her sympathy for Félicité restrained. Which does not mean that this is a cold movie. On the contrary, the unfairness of Félicité's lot is so obvious that it needn't be intensified. Pathetic violins and sniveling would be redundant whereas soberness, by contrast, does reinforce the impact of Flaubert's sad story.

Sandrine Bonnaire is literally possessed with her role, a simple woman gifted for life, but prevented by unfavorable circumstances to give free rein to her bursts of passion or tenderness. Marina Foïs, her exact opposite, as repressed in this context as she is naturally exuberant, is frightening as Madame Aubain, who misses out on real life.
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10/10
request for Videotape or DVD of either of two versions of the novella
albawhall11 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Reading the single review of the Bonnaire film excites my desire to obtain same (as well as the earlier version of the novella with Joe Dallesandro, filmed in 1977). Is it possible to purchase a copy anywhere, Netflix,Amazon, E-Bay, etc.? The other stars in the Joe Dallesandro version are high-quality: Alida Valli ("The Third Man"); Tina Aumont ("Fellini's Casanova"); Adriana Asti (Bernardo Bertolucci's "Before the Revolution" - "Prima della rivoluzione"); Pierangelo Civera ("The Conformist"); Elvira Cortese ("Conversation Piece"); Jole Silvani (Fellini's "The White Sheik".... There are all top-drawer actors, some of whom are now demised seeing as this version of the Flaubert was filmed in 1977. Hopefully, a copy can be gotten somewhere Region two or otherwise.
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