May 18, 2013

Augustine (2012)

Augustine (2012)
Directed by: Alice Winocour
Country: France

Review: “Augustine” is a fresh period drama that enraptures us, as much as shocks us, with its story of lust covered in gothic tones. Augustine is a simple servant of 19 years old, who has been experiencing crisis of hysteria, ending up in a hospital of the specialty with her right side completely paralyzed. She starts to be seen by professor Charcot, an expert in the disease who got intrigued with her case. His intention was to make a public demonstration of Augustine having a crisis, which would be induced through hypnosis. That way he will be able to prove that hysteria is related to a brain malfunction instead of sorcery or supernatural causes, obtaining the support of the Academy of Medicine to continue his studies. However, a secret and dangerous fascination grows slowly on both doctor and patient, leading to harmful consequences. The outstanding performances by Soko (also a singer) and Vincent Landin, one of the most complete actors coming from France, contrasted with the modest role played by Chiara Mastroianni as Charcot's wife. “Augustine” was wrote with intelligence and shot with accuracy by debutant Alice Winocur, well backed up by George Chenaptois’ keen cinematography and Jocelyn Pook's penetrating music, which were essential to achieve the impressive final results. This story of complicity, intimate secrets, opportunism, and forbidden desires, deserves to be seen, defying ethics and morals.

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