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Claire's Knee (1970)

Le genou de Claire (original title)
On lakeside summer holiday, a conflicted older man is dared to have a flirt with two beautiful teenage stepsisters despite his betrothal to a diplomat's daughter and the fact that the girls have boyfriends.

Director:

Éric Rohmer

Writer:

Éric Rohmer
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Claude Brialy ... Jerome
Aurora Cornu Aurora Cornu ... Aurora, the novelist
Béatrice Romand ... Laura
Laurence de Monaghan Laurence de Monaghan ... Claire
Michèle Montel Michèle Montel ... Madame Walter
Gérard Falconetti Gérard Falconetti ... Gilles
Fabrice Luchini ... Vincent
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sandra Franchina Sandra Franchina
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Storyline

In this talky lighthearted slow-paced melodrama, Jerome, a cultural attache, spends his last summer holidays as a bachelor at Lake Annecy where he meets Aurora, an Italian writer and old friend. She talks him into a flirt with his landlady's teenage daughter, Laura, which he indulges in until he meets and falls for Laura's blonde half-sister Claire and develops a desire to caress her knee. Jerome eventually dares to try his luck with Claire, only to realize that, unlike with Laura, his affections this time are mostly one-sided. Written by Otto Oberhauser <Oberhauser@cc.univie.ac.at>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

21 February 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Claire's Knee See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Les Films du Losange See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Without counting a picture frame seen from the distance, the title character's first appearance takes place after 47 minutes into the film. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, Jerôme and Claire Annecy are going by boat to Annecy but have to seek refuge under a shelter because of a storm. During their conversation, the irregular flow of the watering device used to create the big rain can be clearly heard. See more »

Quotes

Aurora, the novelist: She disturbs you? How? Her body?
Jerome: Yes, the way she looks, since it's all I know about her. We've hardly ever spoken. I find it quite difficult to talk to her.
Aurora, the novelist: Well, well. She intimidates you.
Jerome: I feel absolutely powerless around girls like that.
See more »

Connections

Follows La carrière de Suzanne (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Warm, sensual and beautifully presented
22 July 2001 | by DeeNine-2See all my reviews

The title of this charming film by Eric Rohmer is perhaps too provocative. It really gives the wrong impression, yet Claire's knee is exactly the central point of the film, although in a way that will surprise you. This is the story about a thirty-something year old diplomat, Jerome Montcharvin, who encounters two pretty girls, sixteen and eighteen years old, while on vacation at Lake Annecy in France (near Lake Geneva, Switzerland) a month before his wedding and finds that they affect him more strongly than he might have expected. It is especially Claire who brings out a side of his personality that is seldom exposed, much to the merry interest of his friend, Aurora, a writer, who has guided his interest in the girls, ostensibly as material for a story she is writing. Claire's Knee, it need be said immediately has not so much to do with the pretty girl's knee as it has to do with the protagonist's self-perception. Jean-Claude Brialy, who plays Jerome Montcharvin, brings a veracious mix of smug confidence and little guy vulnerability to the part spiked with a clear case of self-delusion that illuminates his character very well. And the girls are indeed very pretty, with Laura, played with coquettish innocence by Béatrice Romand, also being clever and slyly sophisticated, vulnerable and honest. In contrast Claire, played by Laurence de Monaghan, whose fawn-like beauty is perfect for the part, seems superficial and ordinary and a bit distant. I found myself more attracted to Aurora, played with a gentle and understated irony by Aurora Cornu. She provides the objectifying point of view for us to realize that while Jerome imagines he is a man in touch with his feelings and has an objective understanding of himself, he is really a man who fools himself about his motivation, a man who can be ugly when frustrated, as he is by Claire's lack of interest in him. The dialogue, written by director Eric Rohmer, which some have found excessive is anything but. It is instead clever and witty and at times profound as Rohmer relentlessly explores the nature of love, sex, sensuality and self-delusion. The cinematography of the lake and the French alps in the summer time is luscious, and the privileged, softly indulgent life style of the characters living around the lake provoked a twinge of jealousy in my soul. This is a beautiful film, worldly wise, warm, sensual and subtle as a dinner by candlelight.


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