Les dames du Bois de Boulogne

Les dames du Bois de Boulogne

The ladies of the Bois de Boulogne

DVD | French
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Helene, a passionate but self-controlled woman is seething after her lover Jean confesses he no longer loves her. Driven by revenge, Helene engineers a scandalous affair between Jean and a prostitute.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.) : Criterion Collection, 2003, c1944
Edition: Standard format
Description: 1 videodisc (85 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in
ISBN: 9780780026223
0780026225
Branch Call Number: DVD Dame

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Froster Jul 29, 2013

This is a very intriguing little number. It begins as a society revenge fantasy a la "Cousin Bette", or "Les Liasons Dangereuse", and then the filmmakers pull the Aubusson rug out from under you. This makes it less satisfying, but more "poetic". Thus you realize it's the brainchild of Cocteau, but unlike many of his other half-baked efforts, this doesn't totally ruin the experience. In fact there are two intriguing performances that rise above all the sham lyricism: Elina Labourdette, who, if you can imagine it, reminds one of a Gallic Eleanor Powell. (If one can imagine Eleanor Powell as a tap-dancing call girl who suffers, suffers, suffers). And the astonishing Maria Caseres. She's one of those actresses who stand out as a "presence"...as thoroughly engaging as an Arletty, or a Signoret, or a Moreau--a willful, sexy experienced sphinx. The way only they can make 'em in France.

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