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Bluebeard


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Product Details

  • Actors: Dominique Thomas, Lola Creton, Daphne Baiwir, Marilou Lopes-Benites, Lola Giovannetti
  • Directors: Catherine Breillat
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0039WGU82
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,164 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bluebeard" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Based on Charles Perrault s grisly fairytale, Bluebeard tells the story of young Marie Catherine, child bride to an aristocratic ogre with a reputation for murdering his wives. Controversial director Catherine Breillat (The Last Mistress, Fat Girl, Romance) brings her personal touch to this classic tale, a favorite of good little French girls since the 1950s. Princess Marie Catherine must employ all her cunning to outwit her husband and escape the most unpleasant of fates.

Customer Reviews

I do think this film has a few things going for it, though perhaps not intentionally so.
Amazon Customer
Sometimes the characters are simply feasting, which adds to the dark sensuality of the film, but does nothing for the story itself.
ZuluQueen
On one hand are two young sisters, one reading to the other the 'horror' story of Bluebeard.
lecudedag

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By William Shriver on July 4, 2010
Format: DVD
Catherine Breillat often confounds me in her work, but BLUEBEARD is relatively straightforward, and I felt I was tracking the whole way. It should be said that there are two parallel stories, one set in the 15th century, and the other set in the 1950's. I suppose there could be some controversy over which story is supposed to reflect on the other, or whether we really have to choose at all. Suffice it to say, the two stories alternate, somewhat like the present and past segments in Godard's WEEKEND or Bunuel's MILKY WAY. BLUEBEARD clearly resembles those films in it's complete disregard of verisimilitude. What interests Breillat is not realism, but iconography. It simply doesn't matter that the wardrobe appears as if it was rented from the corner costume shop.

The Bluebeard story is framed by two sisters who are reading the story in the 1950's. The younger of the two, "Catherine," has surpassed her older sister emotionally and academically and enjoys scaring her with her bloody descriptions of the Bluebeard story. It is a dynamic of sibling rivalry whose ending is at least as dire as that of "Bluebeard" itself.

The 15th century story concerns two other sisters who are (hilariously, to my taste) ejected from parochial school when their father dies. Now impoverished, the younger sister, Marie-Catherine, agrees to marry Bluebeard to save her family's fortunes. This portion of the film has more of the old familiar reversals of sexual dynamics that we have come to love and loathe in Breillat's work.

As a whole, the movie has many very funny moments. If you only know Breillat from the likes of FAT GIRL or BRIEF CROSSING, I promise you will be surprised and delighted. Nothing against those films.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 7, 2010
Format: DVD
When a fairy tale resonates enough to be told and retold over several centuries, as many of Charles Perrault's folktale adaptations have, one must presume them to hold a certain quality that transcends the typical story. Bluebeard, for instance, being so dark and laced with such innate fears, would perhaps qualify for a modern spin. Times indeed have changed somewhat since Perrault first set word to page, and though Bluebeard has been adapted many times since, there's always room for a new version, that's part of the beauty of a folk tale isn't it? That spin that's added over time?

Director Catherine Briellat's version achieves only in flattening out the depth in the tale, of leaching the fear from the characters, and washing over the cinematic pallet with cheap Hal loween style costumes and reused sets. Yes, yes, I see that perhaps the `staged' quality of the Bluebeard story within a story (two little girls are actually reading the book in the 50s) may imply that it is `constructed' within the mind - a fiction. And yes, I get that the cheap costumes may serve metaphorically to emphasis that riches are only on the surface, and that this `rags' to `riches' tale is a trap. And finally, yes, I see that perhaps the reusing of the sets may imply that the lead - Bluebeard's young wife - really doesn't get anywhere, her journey is stagnated. Alas, the potential for metaphor is bursting from this over-ripe fruit in place of flavor and emotion.

The two tales, that of Bluebeard in its Renaissance Fair setting, and the sisters reading the story in their treasure trove attic, are oddly disconnected. While the four young girls are charming enough to carry a well directed film, here they seem to just be doing there own thing, just with memorized lines.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ZuluQueen on June 22, 2010
Format: DVD
Catherine Breillat's "Bluebeard" is elegant, but slow and sleek. The movie is 78 minutes long, and the conflict takes a long time to show up. The beginning of the film, while an important part to any story, drags its feet and numbs the audience. Viewers might have a hard time enjoying this otherwise decent film because it takes a while to get started.

There are two stories--one of two little girls who read "Bluebeard" in an attic, and one of two young women who experience it. Both pairs are sisters.

Marilou Lopes-Benites plays the funny and engaging little girl who reads to her squeamish older sister. Their scenes occasionally interrupt the main story. What is storytelling in the attic becomes narration in Bluebeard's world. Lola Créton plays the precocious young woman who eventually marries Bluebeard, an aristocrat who is rumored to have killed all his previous wives.

These two actresses, along with Bluebeard himself (Dominique Thomas) are the ones to watch. Their actions actually contribute to the story. The other two sisters do nothing but oppose and hinder their siblings.

But time goes by very slowly in Bluebeard's world. There are a lot of uneventful scenes. Sometimes the characters are simply feasting, which adds to the dark sensuality of the film, but does nothing for the story itself.

"Bluebeard" is also sleek because it isn't weighed down by a lot of extraneous plotlines. Once Bluebeard gets married again, the film focuses on the married couple and how they interact. Nor is the screen cluttered; every mise en scène is very minimalist.

Bluebeard's environment is also nice to look at. The food looks appetizing, and the eaters seem to enjoy themselves. There are also statues, jewels, and rich dresses.
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