Cold Fusion

by clarencecarter
July 12, 2006 6:30 AM
1 Comment
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Another week, another indieWIRE column. This time out we tackle Patrice Chereau's superlative Gabrielle starring Isabelle Huppert and Pascal Greggory. For more, check out our New York Film Festival review from last year and a little additional blogging. This is a film not to be missed.

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1 Comment

  • Leo | July 13, 2006 8:05 AMReply

    Sorry to be a turd in the punchbowl, but am I the only one who would have been content to miss this? Maybe for Lim this is "a stunning reinvention of the period chamber drama," but while the actors work valiantly to keep things interesting, I find myself wishing Chéreau had done far more (or indeed far less) with the material.

    The whole film strikes me as quite old-fashioned, even conservative. Of course Huppert is mesmerizing (when is she not?) as the ersatz Nora Helmer, but whatever the era, one can hardly imagine her having second thoughts about ditching such an absurdly one-dimensional husband. Pascal Greggory is fun to watch, but his character is a totally flat caricature of every domineering husband since the silent era. “I loved her as a collector loves his prized sculpture" -- oh, I get it now.

    Worst of all, the shifting from color to black and white stock is just arbitrary (not to mention a tired, old art-film saw) and the outbursts of onscreen text do little but cover up the expressive faces of the lead actors. As these two are the film's principal assets, I'd rather Chéreau had sat back and relied on them to provide the substance.