Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
France, 1988. MK2 Productions, Films A2, Les Films du Camélia, Sofinergie Films. Scenario and adaptation by Colo Tavernier, Claude Chabrol, dialogue by Colo Tavernier, based on the by Francis Szpiner. Cinematography by Jean Rabier. Produced by Marin Karmitz. Music by Matthieu Chabrol. Production Design by Francoise Benoit-Fresco. Costume Design by Corinne Jorry. Film Editing by Monique Fardoulis. Boston Film Critics Awards 1989. Golden Globe Awards 1988. National Board Of Review Awards 1989. New York Film Critics Awards 1989.
Another entry in the long, successful relationship between Isabelle Huppert and director Claude Chabrol, this one tells the true story of the last woman executed by the guillotine in France. She plays a frustrated 1940s housewife who learns from a neighbour how to perform safe, clean abortions at home. When she starts performing services for many of the women in her community who cannot face the endless amounts of children their Catholicism forces them to have, she starts to make a pretty tiny bundle that allows her and her family to move into a better neighbourhood that her husband (François Cluzet) couldn’t manage on his salary. Unfortunately, her husband’s rage at being emasculated by his wife thanks to her being the main breadwinner in the family is partly what seals her fate. Huppert is riveting in this terrific film that brings up many moral issues without being judgmental or preachy.