7.6/10
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La Cérémonie (1995)

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

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(novel), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jeanne la postière
... Sophie la bonne
... Georges Lelievre
... Catherine Lelievre
... Melinda
Valentin Merlet ... Gilles
Julien Rochefort ... Jeremie
... Madame Lantier
... Priest
Ludovic Brillant
Claire Chiron
Claire-Marie Dentraygues
Jean-Pierre Descheix
Penny Fairclough
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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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Cérémonie  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,843, 22 December 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$76,882
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second movie adaptation of Ruth Rendell's novel "A Judgement in Stone". The first, and less successful, adaptation was A Judgment in Stone (1986), the only film directed by Ousama Rawi. See more »

Quotes

Sophie la bonne: [to Melinda, after Melinda has discovered that Sophie's illiterate, and wants to help] If you say a word to anybody, I'll tell your dad you're pregnant. If you talk, I'll tell. I'm not the bitch, you are. Mind your own business.
[Melinda, stunned, walks out]
See more »

Connections

Features Top Cat (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Still Impressive After Watching Many Years after the Release
30 December 2011 | by See all my reviews

The upper-class owner of a gallery Catherine Lelievre (Jacqueline Bisset) hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie Bonhomme (Sandrine Bonnaire) for working in the family manor in the countryside of France. Her husband Georges Lelievre (Jean-Pierre Cassel), who is an opera lover, her daughter Melinda (Virginie Ledoyen) and her teenage son Gilles (Valentin Merlet) welcome Sophie and appreciate her work. Soon Sophie befriends the postmistress Jeanne (Isabelle Huppert), who is a social outcast, and she 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 to Sophie that he does not want Jeanne in his house, Sophie stands up against him. Melinda discovers her secret and Sophie blackmails her, but Melinda tells her parents what has happened. Georges fires Sophie and she returns to the house later with Jeanne on the rampage with tragic consequences.

"La Cérémonie" is one of the best films by Claude Chabrol and it is still impressive after watching many years after the release. The poignant story of class conflict, alienation and even evilness of two outcast working class women stays in the mind of the viewer since it might happen to anyone that has a maid at home. The unexpected violent conclusion is probably the source of inspiration for Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" (1997). It is impossible to the viewer to be not affected by the despicable and cruel behavior of the repressed Sophie and the envious Jeanne. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Mulheres Diabólicas" ("Evil Women")

Note: On 21 April 1999 I saw this film again.

Note On 08 May 2017 I saw this film again.


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