An unremitting trip into the world of the low-functioning mentally ill, this movie about an unjustly ignored artist lost to unproductive torment (google, wikipedia her) was shot on ground at an actual "asylum", and aside from Binoche and the man who plays Paul (who comes off here as somewhat of a pious stuffed shirt) the acting was done by staff, and patients (which, in lesser hands, could chafe exploitative)...sad,
It seems rather unfair to comment on this given that I watched it in such a bleak state of mind, a sunny day when everything seemed to be going wrong. Or perhaps I should have been able to empathise with Camille given my jet black mood, but sadly that was not the case. An unrelentingly miserable film, and not in a good way. Oh well, Juliette was excellent as always. I'm sure the positive reviews are more accurate ;)
Juliette Binoche gives a very good performance in this interesting, but ultimately rather disappointing, biopic that chooses a specific time in the lifetime of Claudel to gaze upon. The direction is competent enough, but the script feels surprisingly muddled and unfocused.
After an initially slow start, necessary to build empathy for the character of Camille, the film progresses with aplomb and Binoche delivers a remarkable performance with understated anguish and a simmering sadness throughout. It would have been easy for her to overplay the role, but she treats it with respect and Dumont directs with an affectingly light touch.
The spectacle is Binochet's utter surrender to the personae of Camille. Its hard to work out whether the faded glory that seems to seem from the character she plays also emanates from what we know of Binochet's own career and achievements. The brother appears to be halfheartedly injected to provide an antagonist for the audience to relate to. And yet he never really fulfills that role.
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
*** 1/2 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...
La integridad atormentada, tanto física como anímica, del personaje de Binoche es lo mejor de la película. Fuera de eso, Dumont nuevamente con su discurso de personajes piadosos y atormentados en medio de un ambiente naturalista. Las acciones están totalmente anuladas en esta película y es reemplazada por un carácter testimonial. Una película muy interiorizada y algo aburrida.