August 06, 2006

Merci Pour La Chocolat

You can often count on Claude Chabrol movies to provide a world where, regardless of the well-appointed rooms filled with bright people, something very dark is lurking just out of sight. And you can always count on Isabelle Huppert to turn in a strong performance. She's one of the top actresses working today and there's always a strength of will in her, and a coiled intensity behind her placid expressions. Put the two together and you can have a fascinating, compeling, deeply-disturbing film of elegance and devastating horror. Or, that's what they produced together in La Ceremonie. Merci Pour La Chocolat is a different animal, basically because the script is too simple and straightforward. It doesn't start out that way, the first two scenes seem to present a host of possibilities, but once the characters are all connected and have their direction (each becomes obvious all to quickly) it simply ... plays out. Chabrol's directing and Huppert's acting leave you wondering. Their skill makes you hope something interesting is afoot. But there's not, unless you count another interesting to watch Huppert perfomance. And happily those are to be found in better movies. If you want a recommendation for one of those that's not on the usual list of her highlights, I really enjoyed The School of Flesh.

Posted by armand at August 6, 2006 10:57 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Movies

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