Wednesday, February 06, 2008

La Fille Coupée en Deux (The Girl Cut in Two)


The latest Claude Chabrol film is very good not only because has a dark and very entertaining story full of words but also because the excellent performance by Benoît Magimel as Paul André Claude Gaudens, this is one role that suits Magimel just perfectly and one that anyone cannot afford to miss. Superb!

Inspired by the assassination of Stanford White in 1906 a New Yorker who at the age of 52 was killed by millionaire playboy Harry Thaw who was the husband of 22 years old Evelyn Nesbit and White’s mistress, tells a similar story but turned into a very dark drama and comedy that explores perversion as a theme without showing anything perverse, just suggesting it with words and sights.

With a screenplay written by Chabrol and Cécile Maistre –his stepdaughter- this black comedy tells about innocent and not-wealthy Gabrielle (Ludivine Sagnier) a TV weather presenter that falls for successful and perverse writer Charles Saint-Denis (François Berléand) and almost at the same time, she meets very wealthy and schizophrenic Paul Gaudens who pursuits her. What follows is a series of social-class clashes and perversity.

The movie has magnificent dialogues that suggest more than what they say with ellipses to hint at parallel circles of dark secrets. It is a complex movie, as you have to see beyond everything they’re saying but that’s exactly what makes it outstanding.

The movie has honors in many festivals and awards including a nomination in the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc and the Filmcritica Bastone Bianco award at the 2007 Venice Film Festival.

Absolutely not for all audiences, you not only have to like French cinema and dark comedies but also have to be able to understand the language intention.

Big Enjoy!

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