FRANCE  1990)
CAST: Isabelle Huppert, Jean Francois Balmer, Christophe Malavoy, Jean Yamme, Lucas Belvoux
ONE WORD: Gustave Flaubert's novel on film.

I am not a Claude Chabrol fan. I find his films a bit dreary, and slow, and unlike Claude Berri, terribly boring. But then, when I was reading this work in school days, I thought it was boring as well.

Chabrol's films, for me, tend to be boring, and a bit too wordy. I like dialogue, don't get me wrong, but perhaps it is the style of presentation which leaves me ......... The camera is still a bit too much, and my Americanization in film prefers a bit more active style. I get the feeling that these actors are actually overly rehearsed, and controlled, and do not have the freedom necessary to really flourish and shine as film characters. And to Mr. Chabrol's credit, the majority of his work has been literary, which is really nice, since it can help us 'read' another work of fiction.

I remember my French class, when we read Flaubert's novel.....we were bored, because he always went off on political, social and whatever other opinionated trends his characters went through. And true to form, both the good doctor and his younger wife tend to speak their opinionated minds, until one is really wondering why their opinions on the bourgeoisie has anything to do with the Madame's affairs, or desire to learn why she is bored. And the doctor, an avid anti social being, to all of a sudden try an experiment on a suggestion of an outsider, which will surely bring him ruin.

This is more literature than it is film, if you will excuse me the opinion. It is a nice, and well photographed film, that has its very beautiful moments, only that I wish that we could be more surprised by what is happening than we really are, or ever get, since Flaubert gives away his ideas, through his opinions as a writer. I prefer to separate opinions from a story, and let the characters live, and not be bound by their beliefs, which as usual causes their downfall.

A good film. If you are a French student....see it and write a paper. If you like Exterminators, then forget this film....and unfortunately, this film has no Gerard Depardieu's to speak of.





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