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La Cérémonie (1995)

La cérémonie (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 20 December 1996 (USA)
Trailer
0:59 | Trailer
A newly hired maid for a rich countryside family befriends a post-office clerk who encourages her to rebel against her employers.

Director:

Claude Chabrol

Writers:

Ruth Rendell (novel), Claude Chabrol (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Huppert ... Jeanne la postière
Sandrine Bonnaire ... Sophie la bonne
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Georges Lelievre
Jacqueline Bisset ... Catherine Lelievre
Virginie Ledoyen ... Melinda
Valentin Merlet Valentin Merlet ... Gilles
Julien Rochefort Julien Rochefort ... Jeremie
Dominique Frot ... Madame Lantier
Jean-François Perrier ... Priest
Ludovic Brillant Ludovic Brillant
Claire Chiron Claire Chiron
Claire-Marie Dentraygues Claire-Marie Dentraygues
Jean-Pierre Descheix Jean-Pierre Descheix
Penny Fairclough Penny Fairclough
Alain Françoise Alain Françoise
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Storyline

The upper-class owner of a gallery, Catherine Lelievre, hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie to work in the family manor in the French countryside. Her husband Georges Lelievre, who is an opera lover, her daughter Melinda and her teenage son Gilles welcome Sophie and appreciate her work. Sophie soon befriends the postmistress Jeanne, who is a bad egg and encourages Sophie to rebel against her employers, but the maid stays submissive. However, Sophie is ashamed of a secret and feels uncomfortable in many situations, finding a way to hide her secret. When Georges tells Sophie that he does not want Jeanne in his house, Sophie stands up to him. Melinda discovers her secret and Sophie blackmails her, but Melinda tells her parents what happened. Georges fires Sophie and she returns to the house later with Jeanne on the rampage. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked 1st in 1995 edition of Cahiers du cinéma's Annual Top 10 List. See more »

Quotes

Georges Lelievre: [referring, respectively, to Sophie the illiterate maid and Jeanne the nosy postal clerk] What a pair: one can't read at all, and the other reads our mail.
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Connections

Version of A Judgment in Stone (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Cello Symphony
Composed by Benjamin Britten
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User Reviews

 
Sandrine Bonnaire Is Perfect
23 February 2006 | by epeck15See all my reviews

I love Sandrine Bonnaire. Not love her in the "sell my possessions and move to Paris" love her, but love her in movies. In this movie especially. Every second she is on the screen, I was riveted to her. Her somewhat jerky and stiff physical mannerisms, her plain but beautiful face. And even though from the start we sense that her character is odd, creepy even, we can also feel her almost childlike panic and pain early on when we learn she can't read. It's enormously moving, and it creates a sympathetic bond with her that complicates how we view the events that follow. I just love her, and that probably clouded my overall estimation of the film. That's not to say the film is otherwise weak. It's not. The exploration into the class conflict between the rich and their help was excellent. And so was the portrayal of the sociopathic personality, shifting from sweet smiles to cold-bloodedness in a process devoid of emotion. Chilling, especially so when the sociopath is a waifish beauty. It's a very good movie made great by Sandrine Bonnaire's performance.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France | Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La Cérémonie See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$873,196

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$873,196
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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