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Good for what it is
I don't know, when I heard that the Criterion Collection was releasing this movie, I decided to give it a try. I've seen several of Roman Polanski's movies and I've enjoyed most of them, so I thought this might be a real treat for me. As it turns out, it's aged quite badly by today's standards, most notably how it all seems like a film school student's freshman thesis.
However, I really like the movie overall. Greatest ever? No, but it's good for what it is. I think all the negative reviews are focusing on how long and boring it. Well I can agree that it bored me too, but I stuck with it and it paid off. I think this is a similar reaction to the Japanese horror film "Audition" where the whole movie seemingly relaxes you so much that by the time the scares come they're genuine. Catherine Deneuve gives a convincing performance and Polanski's camera captures many metaphorical details. I would recommend this movie to film students especially but also the high-brow film crowd.