MONSIEUR LANGE finds Renoir languidly tergiversating the exaggerated contrasts that characterize his early career: Batala is magnetizing (his secretary is passionately in love with him, and he counts Valentine amongst his previous conquests), and even the film’s tone strays from its ultimately jubilant spirit—see both the rape of Estelle and subsequent death of her child . . . and the titular murder, weaved seamlessly into the film’s rhapsodic fabric.
January 12, 2018