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Claire is a midwife in a maternity hospital. She is humane and helpful and gives herself entirely to her patients. But despite that her life is not a bed of roses. Her hospital is about to close its doors and the devoted woman is determined not to work in the new modern hospital she regards as a "baby factory". Her personal life is no triumph either: she is single and does not make friends easily. To make matters worse, her student son Simon is gradually leaving home, as he is developing a relationship with his new sweetheart Lucie. It is the moment that Béatrice, her dead father's former mistress, chooses to resurface. The eccentric, spendthrift, sensual, amoral woman (Claire's exact opposite in fact) is really the last kind of person she needs to mix with. But Béatrice soon informs her that she suffers from brain cancer and she has nobody else to turn to. Torn between rejection and duty, what is Claire going to do?Written by
The Midwife (Sage Femme) was shown at the 2017 Berlinale out of competition. The film provokes many questions and the most important one is why this trashy opus of Martin Provost was selected for the program of the festival. Perhaps the answer is the participation of the great French cinema legend Catherine Deneuve.
Catherine Frot plays the main part in the film, the boring midwife Claire Breton, Deneuve plays her friend Béatrice Sobolevski. We can only feel sorry for Deneuve who agreed for a role in such a forgettable picture which has mediocre camera-work, terrible lighting, uninteresting dialogue and a complete lack of an artistic vision. What is even sadder is that many critics are calling this her best role in years! The film is itself a symbol of banality which dominates cinematography today.
Although the picture pretends to be a dramatic-comedy, the audience at the press screening never laughed. The jokes were not funny, the characters paper thin. Provost has a reputation of being a director who is an expert on women's psychology but this film proves that his esteem is hugely overrated. The film which is about a midwife features multiple childbirth scenes filmed in a real hospital however these scenes only show the superficial side of the process and leave a disgusting aftertaste.
Read more at: http://indie-cinema.com/2017/02/the-midwife/
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