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Cousin Bette (1998)

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Cousin Bette is a poor and lonely seamstress, who, after the death of her prominent and wealthy sister, tries to ingratiate herself into lives of her brother-in-law, Baron Hulot, and her ... See full summary »

Director:

Des McAnuff

Writers:

Honoré de Balzac (novel), Lynn Siefert (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geraldine Chaplin ... Adeline
John Benfield ... Dr. Bianchon
Hugh Laurie ... Hector
Jessica Lange ... Bette
Paul Bandey ... Priest
Laura Fraser ... Mariette
Toby Stephens ... Victorin
Kelly Macdonald ... Hortense
Janie Hargreaves Janie Hargreaves ... Célestine
Gillian Martell Gillian Martell ... Portress
Elisabeth Shue ... Jenny Cadine
John Sessions ... Musical Director
Henrik Wager Henrik Wager ... Baritone
Aden Young ... Wenceslas
John Quentin John Quentin ... Elderly Aristocrat
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Storyline

Cousin Bette is a poor and lonely seamstress, who, after the death of her prominent and wealthy sister, tries to ingratiate herself into lives of her brother-in-law, Baron Hulot, and her niece, Hortense Hulot. Failing to do so, she instead finds solace and company in a handsome young sculptor she saves from starvation. But the aspiring artist soon finds love in the arms of another woman, Hortense, leaving Bette a bitter spinster. Bette plots to take revenge on the family who turned her away and stole her only love. With the help of famed courtesan Jenny Cadine she slowly destroys the lives of those who have scorned her. Written by <CherylC894@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who knew deception, treachery and revenge could be this much fun...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La prima Bette See more »

Filming Locations:

Bordeaux, Gironde, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,488, 14 June 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Searchlight Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Melanie Lynskey was considered for the role of Hortense Hulot. See more »

Quotes

Vauvinet, the Moneylender: It's the not about the money, you understand...
Victorin Hulot: I understand.
Vauvinet, the Moneylender: ...It's the principle.
Victorin Hulot: I understand.
Vauvinet, the Moneylender: So if you don't repay us, we kill you, your wife and children and throw your bodies into the Seine.
[pause]
Victorin Hulot: I understand.
See more »


Soundtracks

Kyrie Eleison
Music by Giovanni Palestrina
Performed by the Angel Voices Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boring Balzac
22 September 2001 | by brygosSee all my reviews

and just about everyone else. Who knew that deception, treachery, and revenge could be this tedious.

Although the period production design is reasonable, this film suffers from lax direction and the presence of an `international cast', with the resultant mix of accents and acting styles. Of the better known thespians, Geraldine Chaplin again demonstrates that she inherited her mother's looks but not her father's talent, whereas the best that can be said of Americans Elizabeth Shue and Jessica Lange is that they are woefully miscast.

As a courtesan, Ms. Shue exhibits about as much ability to drive men to ruin as a stale baguette, while a rosy-cheeked, unwrinkled Ms. Lange delivers a studied, monotone performance relieved only by occasional lapses into a southern accent.

This Gallic debacle left this reviewer wondering if the final musical sequence was indicative of a certain regard for the audience, and firmly convinced that bringing French literature to the screen is best left to the French.


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