Therese (Thérèse Desqueyroux)
Cert: 12A Year: 2012 Length: 110 mins Language: French
Cinema Handout (PDF 101KB)
Score: 68.52% Attendance: 121
We start our autumn season with a familiar theme for regular film goers in Keswick; a beautiful French period drama. Set among the pine forests of France, the photography is made to look like paintings by Vermeer, showing the story cast against a backdrop of autumn leaves or tranquil oceans. The peace is not as perfect as it seems, however.
Taken from the 1927 novel by François Mauriac, our story, set in 1926, starts with the young Thérèse discussing love with her friend Anne. She is brought down to earth by the realisation that she is likely to marry Anne’s brother to seal the deal between him and her father; business, not love, are to be her fate. She accepts this, hoping that marriage will bring what she seeks; ‘Marriage will save me from the disorder in my head’
It is not until further events happen in Ann’s life that Thérèse begins to have doubts. Like Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary before her, her loveless marriage and the dull provincial life begin to weigh her down - but what can she do about it?
Thérèse is the last film by director Claude Miller (‘The Little Thief’, ‘A Secret’) - a long-time collaborator of François Truffaut. Miller died soon after completion of this film. He has taken the original novel of provincial passion and converted it into an atmospheric, closely observed drama, full of suspense and ominous intrigue.
The central character of Thérèse is taken by Audrey Tatou, who manages to combine her normal pixie-like energy (‘Amelie’) with a powerful stillness, resulting in a performance ‘utterly mesmerising as her implacable inner demons push her into conflict with everything around her’ - Trevor Johnston, Radio Times. She is ably supported by Gilles Lellouche as Bernard, her husband, and Anaïs Demoustier as her friend Anne.
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