Winter, 1915. Confined by her family to an asylum in the South of France – where she will never sculpt again – the chronicle of Camille Claudel’s reclusive life, as she waits for a visit from her brother, Paul Claudel.
Before shocking us all with an unexpected skill for comedy, Dumont was admired for his radically bleak explorations of human tragedy, like this stark, absorbing portrait of a tortured artist with a mesmeric Juliette Binoche.
i loved the scenes without words (but also loved the scenes with them!!). there's something very extraordinary about this film, you really feel her anguish in non-cliche ways. learned a lot about Camille Claudel who i wasn't familiar with prior. a must see for artists. didn't care so much for the brother, binoche is enough to carry the film herself.
Despite a tendency to Rousseauism (the mentally incapacitated as primal state innocents) the precise framing, acting & soundtrack won me over. My main problem was that the calculated effects never seemed to transcend the director's not-too-hard-to-divine intentions (except perhaps Binoche's performance: a known quantity) leaving me in the end without magic inexplicable moments, that cinephilic manna
Dumont resorts to really confident uses of tableaux staging, creating an arena of deep space through which we can really FEEL Camille's relationship to her milieu. Almost Tatiesque at times. The sounds are so precise, suggestive, percussive. A nice touch: Paul's sermon leads to a shot of the cathedral, a monument of his own rigid viewpoint. Some of the natural light stuff is too fussy; Dumont's asceticism...