Cousin Bette R CC

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(53) IMDb 6.2/10
Available in HDAvailable on Prime

Based on Honore de Balzac's timeless novel, Cousin Bette is a deliciously comic romp through the timeless territory of love and revenge, set in 1840s France.

Starring:
Geraldine Chaplin, Hugh Laurie
Runtime:
1 hour 49 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Cousin Bette

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Cousin Bette

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director Des McAnuff
Starring Geraldine Chaplin, Hugh Laurie
Supporting actors Bob Hoskins, Hugh Laurie, Aden Young, Kelly Macdonald, Toby Stephens, Jefferson Mays, Geraldine Chaplin, John Benfield, Paul Bandey, Laura Fraser, Janie Hargreaves, Gillian Martell, John Sessions, Henrik Wager, John Quentin, Tim Barlow, Heathcote Williams, Philip Jackson
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Very entertaining and cast were superb.
Kayakblue
The movie is still enjoyable, but if you find yourself not knowing whether to laugh or cry in many scenes, the problem is not with you.
Matthew Horner
Also Bob Hoskins and Hugh Laurie were excellent and Elizabeth Shue played her role to perfection.
Helen M. Keltie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kimberley Wilson on September 22, 2002
Format: DVD
Cousin Bette should've won Jessica Lange an Oscar nomination. She proved once and for all that she's a serious big league actress. This is a delicious revenge drama. Good old Cousin Bette is a spider who spins a web of death, financial ruin and humiliation for her foolish, selfish relatives. The other notables performance is by Elizabeth Shue who does her best work as Jennie the courtesan. She reminded me of Nicole Kidman as Satine in Moulin Rouge. Bob Hoskins is great as usual and Hugh Laurie does a grand job as the lecherous father. The only thing wrong with this film are the continutity problems and the glaring fact that Jessica Lange is no hag. It makes no sense that no man in the film couldn't see that.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Horner on March 27, 2002
Format: DVD
Many reviewers of the theatrical release of Cousin Bette pointed out that the film was not faithful to the novel by Honere de Balzac. I will take their word, as I never read the book. It's just as well. Movies are not really comparable to print media, the novel is in the public domain, and Balzac is long gone.
As a film, it is a visual extravaganza. I must admit that, for me, when a movie is impeccably and stylishly photographed, I can enjoy it for that reason alone. None of us know personally what France looked like 150 years ago, but Cousin Bette goes to great lengths to recreate it. The homes and the clothing of the upper class are sumptuous, while slums and their inhabitants are suitably grim and grimy.
Jessica Lange remains one of our great actresses. Sadly, she hasn't had a hit picture in over ten years, so many people don't know who she is. As Bette Fisher, she brilliantly portrays a woman whose parents ignored her in favor of her older, more attractive sister. Now a forty year old spinster who is a costumer for a Paris theater, she quietly endures her insensitive, nearly bankrupt family.
When her sister dies, her brother-in-law, Baron Hector [Hugh Laurie], presumes that she will move in and play nurse maid to her spoiled niece, Hortense [Kelly McDonald]. Bette refuses and returns to her small and lonely apartment. Soon she saves the life of a suicidal neighbor, a handsome young sculptor named Count Wenceslas [Aden Young]. While helping him to establish himself as an artist, she at last reveals that she is in love with him.
What follows is a tale of ruthless, selfish people who take what they want in life. Wenceslas is using Bette. Hortense feels free to woe him away from Bette.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Rasband VINE VOICE on June 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Jessica Lange has never been scarier than here in this adaptation of Balzac's revenge novel. This is one of those stories, like "I, Claudius", where everyone gets their just desserts in a very entertaining way. You get to watch from a god-like perch as Lange plots the destruction of everyone who ever abused her. Elizabeth Shue is delectable as a Parisian courtesan. And britcom fans will delight in Hugh Laurie's performance as the foolish, lecherous head of the family. This is one of those hidden treasures that you have to seek out, but you will be glad you did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Collier on February 6, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is a story of revenge as though Shakespeare had written it. Jessica Lange becomes Bette and you find yourself on her side from the start. All the actors are believeable and the story carries you along. If you enjoy british period films, this one is for you.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 27, 2005
Format: DVD
Like many Americans, my introduction to Honoré de Balzac was in "The Music Man" when the ladies of River City used his name as the ultimate example of the "dirty books" to be found in the Madison Library. Alma mentions Chaucer and Ethel names Rabelais, and then Eulalie Shinn pronounces the name of "Balzac" as the punctuation mark to the argument. There is also the point in Act I where Mrs. Paroo points out to Marion: "When a woman's got a husband, and you've got none, why should she take advice from you? Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare and all them other high-falutin' Greeks." Of course, Balzac was French and his books, such as "Cousin Bette" were not dirty, they were simply adult, which is why these 1998 film adaptation ends with a different set of punctuation marks...

Cousin Bette (Jessica Lange) is an old maid of 40 who started getting the short end of the stick in her family when it was decided that what resources there were would be spent on elevate only one of the girls, her cousin Adelaide (Geraldine Chaplin), who married Baron Hector Hulot (Hugh Laurie). As the film begins Adelaide is dying and after the funeral Bette fully expects that she will now marry the Baron and finally enjoy a little bit of the happiness and prosperity that has been denied her for so long. Instead, he intends to keep her on as a governess to his daughter, Hortense (Kelly MacDonald). After all, she is family. That means he would have to feed her and house her, but not to pay her.

An incensed Bette refuses the position and returns to her hotel room in theater district of Paris in 1846. She works as a seamstress for Jenny Cadine (Elisabeth Shue), the sexy star of one of the bawdier theater houses who also happens to be the mistress of the Baron.
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