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La Belle Bête is a powerful study of the conflict between beauty and ugliness, hate and love. The story revolves around three main characters. At the center, Patrice, a beautiful but ... See full summary »
Paul and Charlotte are in love. Charlotte discovers she has a grave malady and Paul supports her. But Paul is also attracted to Ninon, another girl. Charlotte accepts Paul to have an affair... See full summary »
Some will mention Chabrol but you would hardly find the bourgeoisie satire which was that director's trademark.The heroine wants to marry a wealthy man just because she wants a life of luxury.And passing her lover off as her brother allows her to have both (lover and husband) at home.
But things are not what they seem.The screenplay, based on a book I have not read ,strongly reminds me of Thomas Boileau's and Nicolas Narcejac's complex detective stories with a touch of melodrama thrown in for good measure .
Directing is effective if not outstanding,maybe too much relying on flashbacks (the director is not Clouzot obviously).The male cast is good: the young lover ,with his childlike looks and his jealousy (he fears the husband might take the best of his "sister") is very convincing.Charles Berling gives a good performance of the widower looking for another true love.Gregory Dérangère (who was remarkable in "L'Equipier" ) is certainly one of the most promising French actors of today.Laura Smet ,on the other hand ,is as expressive as a Buddha.
The ending takes the easy way out but the movie is a watchable thriller.
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