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564 Ratings

The Marquise of O

Die Marquise von O...

Directed by Éric Rohmer
France, West Germany, 1976


Inspired by Heinrich von Kleist’s 1808 novella Die Marquise von O, Éric Rohmer’s period drama tells the story of the Marquise von O, a virtuous widow, who in 1799 finds herself pregnant while unconscious and obstinately continues to insist on the acknowledgement of her moral integrity.

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The Marquise of O Directed by Éric Rohmer

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1976 | Winner: Grand Prize of the Jury

National Board of Review

1976 | 2 wins including: Best Foreign Language Film

BAFTA Awards

1977 | Winner: Best Costume Design

Many of the film’s compositions are borrowed more-or-less ironically from contemporary art… The extraordinary effect of bending a real woman – actress Edith Clever – into the ‘idealised’, unnatural, distorted poses of neo-classical womanhood, even in the most ordinary domestic settings and situations, is Rohmer’s visual analogue for the cultured, ideological violence done to women by family and society.
March 17, 2017
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It would be possible to view the film with casual detachment, to use its delicate humor and cool irony as a defense mechanism. One could even go so far as to read the ending as a sarcastic joke similar to the one that ends Le Bonheur, which revisits the film’s opening image of familial bliss, but with the man’s wife now replaced by his mistress. But to do so would be to ignore the film’s emotional locus; it would be to overlook the gravity with which Rohmer treats the very act of living.
August 27, 2016
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Julietta does something extraordinary—she ultimately forgives the Count. Rohmer doesn’t seem to suggest that one would or should extend such forgiveness; rather, he depicts the exceptionalism of circumstances and characters. He offers the definition of an aristocrat as someone who can get away with crime—or can forgive crime—on the basis of emotions and gestures that have an extraordinary aesthetic power. Rohmer shares Julietta’s horror at the Count’s crime; but the movie pivots on love.
August 26, 2015
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