Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thérèse Desqueyroux

Writer/Director Claude Miller made 21 films over a 40-year period, before he died  last year after finishing his adaption of François Mauriac’s modern classic Thérèse Desqueyroux, which is arguably his best.

In acting, mastering the art of stillness is probably the hardest part of the craft.  Gary Oldman’s performance in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a prime example of this “muscle.”  Here, Audrey Tautou gives an award-worthy depiction of stillness in her portrayal of a woman’s quest for emancipation.

The period fairly parallels that of Downton Abbey.  Though not quite as grand as their English counterparts’, Thérèse’s world is one in which a thinking woman must either suffocate, rebel or go insane.  Miller and Tautou have her run the gamut.  I was glad that I had not read Mauriac’s novel because I never knew where his character was going to take herself or where Miller’s and Tautou’s interpretation would take us viewers.   
Beautifully photographed by Gérard de Battista, Thérèse Desqueyroux is scheduled to be released stateside in June or July and I highly recommend that you see it.

I give Thérèse Desqueyroux a 4+ out of 5. 

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