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Middle-aged chambermaid Hélène's newfound obsession with the game of chess leads her to seek the tutelage of a reclusive American expat, transforming both of their ho-hum lives in the process. Written by
Palm Springs International Film Festival
When Hélène first enters the hotel room where she will see the chess game, she unlocks the door and puts the keys back in her apron pocket. But when she enters the room, the keys are still in the door. See more »
There are movies about baseball and swimming and even pool and poker. This one is about chess. And it is a superb film, one of the few I've rated ten. Where to start? The rich photography and the stunning scenery? The captivating, believable characters? The subtleties that Europe does so well but Hollywood doesn't even understand? Perhaps the thing I liked best was the wonderful facial expressions. Anyone can learn a line. It takes much more talent to convey a story with a raised eyebrow, a cunning smile, an expression of shocked surprise. The movie is a winner even if you don't know the difference betaken a pawn and a rook. But if you play chess and understand its culture, it is especially engaging. Chess is wrongly regarded as a slow and boring game. Here it has the excitement of a bobsled run. Just a heluva great movie!
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