A middle class family in Loire, where things seem just a tad off kilter. Philippe dotes on his mother, who has raised his two sisters and him. Gérard, a wealthy man just divorced, is paying attention to her, then drops her. Philippe is actually pleased, and retrieves from Gérard’s garden a stone head — of the goddess Flora — that his mother had given Gérard. At the wedding of one of his sisters, Philippe meets Senta, a quirky and moody young woman: they quickly fall in love, despite her odd behaviors and Philippe’s general good sense. Senta announces a plan for them to prove their love to each other; it involves poetry, tree planting, and murder. What will Philippe do? —IMDb
Widely credited as the founding father of the French Nouvelle Vague movement, Claude Chabrol is responsible for a body of work that is as prolific as it is boldly defined. A master of the suspense thriller, Chabrol approaches his subjects with a cold, distanced objectivity that has led at least one critic to liken him to a compassionate but unsentimental god viewing the foibles and follies of his creations. Inherent in all of Chabrol’s thrillers is the observation of the clash between bourgeois value and barely-contained, oftentimes violent passion. This clash gives the director’s work a melodramatic quality that has allowed him to drift between the realm of the art film and that of popular entertainment.
Born in Paris on June 24, 1930, Chabrol was educated at the University of Paris, where he was a pharmacology student, and at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques. Following some military service, he developed an interest in the cinema and worked for a brief time in the publicity… read more
Following the singed Baudelairean delights of his Fleur du mal, La demoiselle d’honneur renews the bourgeois milieu, only colder, haughtier in its darkly plottings and wired heartstrings, and with a more voracious sexuality central to its own slow-burning, dastardly machinations. Seasoned with innocuous motifs, Oedipal signposts and a most blackened humour, Chabrol’s darkened tango steadily comes to make its seared mark. Underhandedly riveting.
What I learned from this movie: To be fully alive, you must plant a tree, write a poem, kill someone, and make love with someone of the same sex. It wasn't as good as This Man Must Die, and the script was a bit uneven and unfinished, but there was no shortage of suspense and beautiful women! What more could one ask for?