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Caryn James

Review: Juliette Binoche in the Heartbreaking 'Camille Claudel 1915'

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • October 16, 2013 9:01 AM
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There is not a glimpse of Camille Claudel's graceful, eloquent sculptures in Camille Claudel 1915. But in an especially wrenching scene, as Claudel walks on the grounds of the asylum for mental patients where she will needlessly stay for decades, she picks up a piece of mud, begins to sculpt it in one hand like clay, then throws it to the ground as if it were an unbearable memory of her former life. Once the muse, student and lover of Rodin, the Claudel we see in 1915 -- so quietly and affectingly brought to life by Juliette Binoche -- is not some stereotypical artist lost in a mad hallucination, but a tragic woman whose family callously keeps her entrapped long after she needs the asylum's protection.

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