Noroît

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Rivette’s companion piece to Duelle is as visual splendid though not as invigorating.  Loosely inspired by (and including pieces of) The Revenger’s Tragedy by Cyril Tourneur, it stars Geraldine Chaplin as a woman who plans to get revenge on a witch (Bernadette Lafont) who killed her brother.  Lafont is the leader of a gang of…

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The Thief Of Paris (Le Voleur)

BBBB (out of 5) Mellow in pace but rich in subtext, this is an exemplary film by Louis Malle.  Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a young 19th century heir who returns from the army to discover that his scheming uncle has cheated him out of his fortune. This also means that our hero can’t marry his lifelong…

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A Cat In Paris (Une Vie De Chat)

BBB (out of 5) Stylish, angular animation and a charming narrative heighten the experience of this miniature charmer, about a young girl who has voluntarily gone mute since the death of her father at the hands of a nasty gangster.  Her police officer mother does her best to keep a home full of love but…

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The Mother And The Whore (La Maman Et La Putain)

BBBBB (out of 5) Four hours of three people having a conversation may not sound like a scintillating experience, but this classic is one hell of a surprise. At the centre of it is the adorably rakish Jean-Pierre Léaud, caught between his bossy, caring girlfriend and a sexually adventurous nurse whom he picks up at…

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Violette (Violette Noziere)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Early in her fantastic career, Isabelle Huppert gave one of her first notable lead performances in this excellent film, earning her first Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival and gaining international acclaim. She stars in the true story of a teenage girl whose rebellious nature has her dressing like a…

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Les Bonnes Femmes

BBBB (out of 5) Claude Chabrol drama about the sordid night lives of Parisian female store clerks (how does this tiny store make money with so many employees?) One is trying to make it as a cabaret performer when she’s not at the store (Stéphane Audran in an early appearance), another has an unfortunate attraction to…

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Le Beau Serge

BBBB (out of 5) Claude Chabrol made a remarkably self-assured debut with this quietly upsetting melodrama about the rift between two friends. Straight-laced and clean-cut Jean-Claude Brialy recovers from an illness and visits the village where he once spent youthful years. He catches up with his old friend Gérard Blain, but while his friend is still…

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