Monday, March 28, 2016

Dvd/150: Les DAMES DU BOIS DE BOULOGNE (Robert Bresson, 1945)

A French woman sets out to ruin an ex-lover - no, it's not LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES (although at times it suggests it) but auteur Robert Bresson's last film to use professional actors.

Hélene tests her lover Jean when warned by a friend that he is false: she tells him her love has gone cold but is devastated when he confirms that his has too and suggests - yawn - they be friends instead.  Hélene immediately plots revenge...

Hélene seeks out a slight acquaintance whose dancer daughter Agnes has been reduced to prostitution.  She sets them up in new surroundings then arranges for them to 'accidently' bump into her and Jean, setting in motion her plan for Jean to fall in love and marry Agnes, only to become a laughing stock when her past is revealed.

Bresson's unemotional handling of Jean Cocteau's script cannot diffuse the arctic intensity of Maria Casares' icy Hélene.

Shelf or charity shop?  Happy to have seen it but can let this one go...

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