Posts Tagged ‘Léa Seydoux’

ChambermaidIf there had been an award for Most Unnecessary Film in the Competition program at the 2015 Berlinale, Diary of a Chambermaid would undoubtedly have won by acclamation. The third time is most certainly not the charm for film adaptations of the 1900 naughty French novel Journal d’une femme de chamber by Octave Mirbeau, which saw prior incarnations in 1946 and in 1964, the former directed by Jean Renoir, the latter by Luis Buñuel. That pedigree is perhaps the only reasonable explanation for why director Benoît Jacquot dusted off a 100-year old novel that long ago lost its power to scandalize. Remaking the past movies of legends does not confer the same status onto those who purvey in the present, however. Jacquot’s effort pales in comparison to both previous efforts and looks even worse when measured by the standards of contemporary cinema. (more…)

ImageWord of a new French film version of Beauty and the Beast brings with it certain expectations. The timeless story did begin as a French fairy tale, and the 1946 movie directed by Jean Cocteau is considered a milestone in fantasy filmmaking. Would this latest effort wrest back the title of Most Popular from Disney’s animated gem? Would it be a dark rendering, an adult version emphasizing the sensual themes? Or perhaps a more smart ass, satirical take with a sassy 21st century heroine?

The answers arrived with a leaden thud last month at the international premiere of La belle et la bête at the 64th Berlinale Film Festival.