August 23, 2013

Thérèse (2012)

Directed by: Claude Miller
Country: France

Review: Claude Miller’s last film before his death in April 2012, “Therese Desqueyroux” (original title), is far from being a gem on drama but is a completely followable old-fashioned story about the influence of family in the conservative society of 20’s in detriment of individual happiness. Based on François Muriac’s novel, the plot describes the fight for freedom put by Therese Desqueyroux (Audrey Tautou) against her irritating husband Bernard (Gilles Lellouche), after taking into account the case of her best friend and sister-in-law, Anne (Anais Demoustier), who was locked in home when in love with a liberal neighbor of Portuguese origin. She just chose the worst way to do it, disgracing her life and becoming rejected by everyone around her. Using an indolent pace, the story flows emotionless just like its main character, but conveying all the baffling psychological complexities associated to Therese’s behaviors. Audrey Tautou, despite not so much fiery, was able to play accordingly the role of a defiant woman who tried to escape to an inevitable fate by what she thought to be the only possible way. Lellouche was very convincing too in his passion, rigidness, and hypochondria. Another version of this same novel, directed by George Franjus and starring Emanuelle Riva and Philippe Noiret, was released in 1962, presenting considerable better results. Nonetheless, Miller’s goodbye is fair enough to worth a look.

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