The year is 1926. In the Landes region, free-spirited Thérèse Larroque, the daughter of a wealthy pinery owner and radical-socialist politician, marries Bernard Desqueyroux, another pinery owner. Although she does it half-heartedly, she thinks that marriage may help her to "sort out all the ideas in her mind". But her disappointment is great. Her wedding night is all but fascinating and when she becomes pregnant she realizes the baby matters more to Bernard than herself. While Thérèse stifles in her husband's beautiful residence among stiff in-laws who do not think high of her, ideas keep on roaming her mind. Written by
"Cinematographic, nuanced, eloquent and lyrical..."
French screenwriter, producer and director Claude Miller's fifteenth and final feature film which he co-wrote with French screenwriter Natalie Carter, is an adaptation of a novel from 1927 by French author and playwright Francois Mauriac (1895-1970) and a remake of a French film from 1962 by French filmmaker Georges Franju (1912-1987). It premiered Out of competition at the 65th Cannes International Film Festival in 2012, was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on locations in France and is a French production which was produced by producer Yves Marmion. It tells the story about a woman named Thérèse Desqueyroux who lives in a Provencal village in France with her father and her grandmother. Thérèse has a close and sister-like relationship with a girl named Anne de la Trave who lives in a mansion with her mother and brother named Bernard who is a hunter and a landowner, but after Thérèse marries Bernard and her friend meets a man named Jean Azevedo they don't get to see each other as much as before and Thérèse begins to regard her marriage as conventional and as a prison of duties where she no longer recognizes herself.
Distinctly and brilliantly directed by French filmmaker Claude Miller (1942-2012), this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated by the main character and mostly from her point of view, draws a mindful and tangible portrayal of a cultured French woman who after choosing to become a wife and realizing what it entails is so plagued by her decision and bored by her Catholic husband that she commits a crucial act. While notable for it's naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, sterling cinematography by French cinematographer Gérard De Battista, production design by production designer Laurence Brenguier, costume design by French costume designer Jacqueline Bouchard and use of sound and light, this dialog-driven, monologue-driven and narrative-driven story about an independent-minded woman who discovers her true identity after becoming a someone in a bourgeoisie society depicts a multifaceted study of character and contains an efficient instrumental score.
This internally dramatic, non-judgmental, rhythmic, reflective and romantic drama which is set in Argelouse in the Landes department in Southwestern France during the 1920s in the aftermath of the First World War and where a young woman falls in love with a Jewish man whom her family prevents her from seeing as they have a man from another family named Deguihelm in mind for her, and her closest friend whom has married her brother is suffocating in her matrimony, is impelled and reinforced by it's fragmented narrative structure, substantial character development, subtle continuity, timely use of music, undertones of mystery and the distinguished acting performances by French actress Audrey Tautou, French actor, screenwriter and director Gilles Lellouche and French actress Anaïs Demoustier. A cinematographic, nuanced, eloquent and lyrical period piece which honors the art of storytelling in cinema.
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