Frederique (Huppert) leaves her family's small-town trout farm to embark on an journey taking her to Japan and into the arms of a man. Irritations concerning her actions and present state ...
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Frederique (Huppert) leaves her family's small-town trout farm to embark on an journey taking her to Japan and into the arms of a man. Irritations concerning her actions and present state of feelings begin to fill her mind, forcing her to come to terms with innermost self.Written by
La Truite opens to the unedifying sight of a glum-faced Isabelle Huppert squeezing sperm out of a dead fish. No prizes, then, for guessing this is a drama of sexual dysfunction. Huppert has a homosexual husband (Jacques Spiesser) who is unable to consummate their union. (Nor is he able to act, incidentally, but in a film this bad that is no grounds for divorce.)
Naive souls may imagine that a severe lack of sex explains the scowl of dour misery that Huppert tries to pass off as a performance. Not a bit of it! Her character made a vow in her teens to leech everything she could out of men - without ever once gratifying their sexual desires. So when two mega-rich businessmen (Daniel Olbrychski and Jean-Pierre Cassel) just happen to wander into her local bowling alley and find her simply irresistible...
Sorry, but I don't know which is more improbable. Members of the style-conscious haute bourgeoisie going bowling, or any person - male or female, gay or straight - becoming obsessed with Isabelle Huppert. If Losey had only shot this film with Brigitte Bardot back in the 60s (as he longed to do) then we might just about buy into its ludicrous plot. Given the sour-faced Huppert and her gaping charisma deficit, he was a fool even to try.
La Truite is a textbook illustration of the melodramatic bathos and aesthetic self-abuse that Losey could fall into when he didn't have Harold Pinter (or some other ace script-writer) to keep him in line. Only a hypnotic Jeanne Moreau (as Cassel's aging and ill-treated wife) does anything that resembles acting. Spare a thought, though, for the stunning Afro-Caribbean dancer Lisette Malidor - wasted here in a minor role. In any sane universe, she could have played Huppert's part.
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