Anatomy of a murder. Christophe has murdered Frédérique, his lover. He's in his 20s, an entrepreneur who likes to pick up chicks with his misogynist friend Philippe; she's in her 30s, a ... See full summary »
Drawing some intriguing parallels between the work of the prostitute and that of the psychiatrist-both have clients, both charge for sessions, both take on roles that serve the needs, ... See full summary »
A mosaic of several intertwined stories questioning the meaning of life, love and hope, set during the last six days in the life of Eluana Englaro, a young woman who spent 17 years in a vegetative state.
Agathe lives with her husband and son in a posh apartment in front of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Patrick lives with his son in the back of a van. She is the head of an important contemporary... See full summary »
Farid, an Algerian turned informant for the French police, is found murdered in a small French town. Two offbeat and unethical female investigators (a fercely authoritarian Isabelle Huppert... See full summary »
Boldly unconventional and cheerful, that's how one could describe Babou. Never having cared about social conventions, she is suddenly faced with the realization that her own daughter is ... See full summary »
Brigitte and Xavier are a couple of cattle farmers living and working together in Normandy. They have always got on well but now that their two children have left the household routine and ... See full summary »
Hello. I need an ambulance.
Half my body is dead.
You're talking, so you can't be dead.
No, I'm not dead. I'm calling for help.
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An extraordinarily subtle and ultimately devastating film....
Having just watched this film at the Melbourne Film Festival where Breillat introduced the film, I can say that it is the most approachable and moving film she has made in recent memory.
While the film reduces Breillat's usual focus on sexuality and sexual power, it more than makes up for in its humane but disturbing focus on other power elements in relationships within and across modern bourgeois families and those classes below. I think that too few reviewers miss the class critique presented by Breillat but it is there and adds a whole new layer of significance to this film.
Basing the story on her own real-life experience of being defrauded by a major con, this autobiographical account of sudden disability from stroke and the manipulative strangers who take advantage of her sets up an austere, quietly unsettling premise as a platform for Isabelle Huppert's extraordinary performance as Breillat's alter-ego, Maud.
Whereas Breillat's previous films sometimes fail in her use of non-professional actors lacking range or depth of performance, Huppert fills this role with a technical brilliance and emotional and intellectual depth that allows the viewer to gain some hold on the rationale behind a woman's almost willing complicity in a swindling of which she is the unfortunate target. The word "victim" hardly seems appropriate here. Breillat and Huppert are reaching for something else.
You'll need to see the film to reach your own conclusion of this elusive "something else". It's enough to say that the film remains gripping throughout and thoroughly watchable, not least for the shimmering, alchemical performance by Huppert who is at the height of her powers in this performance.
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