Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by
The widescreen intimacy of small moments - the flush of a rain-soaked cheek - humanizes Donzelli's grand folly and the couple who challenge the parameters of morality.
Demoustier is charismatic enough to almost help Donzelli pull it off, but Elkaïm is so stiff as Julien you never understand why Marguerite is willing to risk her life in the first place.
Ambitiously mounted but wildly uneven.
It's somehow both mannered and style-less, fantastical and under-imagined-perversely watchable, in other words.
As fate closes in on the lovers, the silliness of their own behaviour and Marguerite & Julien in general prevents any pathos from entering the scene. The taboo of incest never troubles as one never truly believe that they are brother and sister - or in love - or anything else.
Rather than presenting something akin to the heady youthful cravings of Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as contemporary versions of Romeo and Juliet, the equally tragic Marguerite & Julien often feels more like a version of Richie and Margot in Wes Anderson's “The Royal Tenenbaums” crossed with the pre-teen runaways from “Moonrise Kingdom,” but minus the humor and insight.
The film is a painfully silly, laughably naive Romance with a capital “R.”
It finds its filmmaker completely lost between impulses to pay homage, play it safe, or offer something-anything-new.
This buttock-clenchingly embarrassing movie from director Valérie Donzelli is a pre-Revolutionary period drama from the quality end of the sugary French market - theatrically tricked out with one or two annoying and clumsy Brechtian touches of stylised self-aware modernity.
The New York Times
The excruciating experience of Marguerite & Julien need only be endured by viewers with an obsessive interest in the least constructive aesthetic currents in contemporary French cinema.

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