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Gabrielle (2006)

Isabelle Huppert , Pascal Greggory , Patrice Chéreau  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Isabelle Huppert, Pascal Greggory, Claudia Coli, Thierry Hancisse, Chantal Neuwirth
  • Directors: Patrice Chéreau
  • Writers: Patrice Chéreau, Anne-Louise Trividic, Joseph Conrad
  • Producers: Patrice Chéreau, Ferdinanda Frangipane, Joseph Strub
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • 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: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: December 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ICL3NS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,567 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gabrielle" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interviews with Patrice Chereau, Isabelle Huppert, Pascal Gregory
  • Deleted scenes with Patrice Chereau commentary

Editorial Reviews

Jean (Pascal Greggory), a successful publisher, is acutely aware of and deeply pleased with his high social standing, fine taste, and abundant material possessions, among which he seems to include his wife, Gabrielle (Isabelle Huppert). But in a single af

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars talky but intriguing drama February 27, 2007

Based on "The Return" by Joseph Conrad, "Gabrielle" tells the story of a woman in turn-of-the-century Paris who rebels against a loveless marriage.

Jean Hervey is a successful newspaper publisher whose life is ruled far more by social obligation and ritual than by emotion or passion. He extends this philosophy to all areas of his life, even to his own wife, whom he sees less as a person with a basic human need for intimacy and passion, than as an attractive ornament to be placed beside all the other artwork in his impressive collection of Greek statuary. He even proclaims rather proudly - as if it were evidence of his imperviousness to the weakness of the flesh - that, though he and his wife do share the same bedroom, they sleep in different beds. Yet, he is not above deluding himself into believing that he actually loves her, although he is the first to admit that real love requires far too much effort to really be worth his time. He takes pride in her "placid" nature, which he feels serves him well in her function as hostess for the dinner parties he throws for his friends like clockwork every Thursday night. One day, however, Jean's studiously ordered world is shattered when he finds a note from Gabrielle informing him that she has run off with another man. A few moments later, though, Gabrielle mysteriously returns home, having been unable to make that final break for reasons not entirely fathomable either to herself or to us. The remainder of the film is spent examining the couple's efforts to cope with the situation.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inferno January 3, 2007
Operatic in tone (director Patrice Chereau has mounted numerous stage and opera productions), based on a short story by Joseph Conrad, beautifully costumed and photographed, acted in the high-toned manner of an Ibsen or Chekhov play, "Gabrielle" nonetheless proves to be rooted in the basest of emotions: Jealousy, Envy, Hate, Disgust and of course, Love.

Isabelle Huppert as Gabrielle and Pascal Greggory as her husband Jean Hervey are rich, entitled and seemingly cold as ice, frozen emotionally even. Jean is a man whose friends tell him he possesses "the cold stare of achievement." Both he and Gabrielle are seemingly content with their loveless and sex-less marriage, their place in Society: that is until one day Gabrielle admits she is having an affair.

Set at the beginning of the 20th Century, La Belle Epoque, reeking of Velvet Brocades, Absinthe, Salon Thursdays in which Artists of every nature perform, servants who brush off the "Master's" shoes every time he enters the house, "Gabrielle" literally suffocates with hot-house, jasmine scented period touches which serve to heighten and underscore the raging tempest brewing in Chez Hervey.

In many ways, "Gabrielle" recalls the savage, similarly themed "Closer" of a few years back in its go for the jugular manner. But whereas "Closer" operates in the contemporary world in which derision, infidelity and online porn are in your face...accepted even expected, "Gabrielle's" 1912 world, though just as emotionally brutal and stagnate, is hidden, closeted, tight as Gabrielle's corseted torso.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Civility under pressure August 21, 2007
By Reader
Made after Conrad's short story "Return", this is a story of a wealthy, married couple living in predictable, stable marriage surrounded by luxury, art, salon gatherings and -- emotional restraint. Husband is a self made rich man who finds all beauty around him to be something to collect and adore from a distance. Wife on the other hand is the epithomy of class, good manners, classical beauty. Isabel Huppert is known for being able to deliver solid performance for complicated characters. Her face, beauty and the way she moves enhances the regal surroundings of the household visitors she moves around, dress she is wearing, music she listens to. But when she leaves all that for another man and then comes back to her husband within less than two hours, it opens up all the questions between her, her spouse, her relationship with the house servants, and weekly guests that are regulars at their salon. The visual beauty of the movie turns inside out to the beauty of the words and language between all these individuals that are part of such traumatic development in the household considered to be content on the way things ought to be in the high society of the 20th century. This movie is developing almost in slow motion where viewer becomes willing participant in torturing revelation about husband and wife, power switch in their marriage and realization of the truth that eventually distroys them and their relationship completely. P. Greggory and I. Huppert mash so well in their battle with words, it is absolutely tantalizing to let go of them for even a minute.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Patrice Chéreau is one of the giants of entertainment, whether in his direction of operas (his Wagner RING remains a gold standard), plays, or his films. He is a thoroughgoing artist, one who combines great intellect with a keen ear for music, camera movement, atmosphere, the spoken and unspoken word, and for accompanying some of the finest actors at work today in their realization of his visions.

GABRIELLE is a case in point and for this viewer this is simply one of the strongest films to come out of France - a country much celebrated for its cinematic genius - in many years. Inspired by Joseph Conrad's short story 'The Return' and adapted as a screenplay by Anne-Louise Trividic and Chéreau, the story is a brief history of a married couple whose ten-year marriage alters in one afternoon and evening - the time span of the film.

Jean Hervey (Pascal Greggory) is a handsome man of wealth who 'acquired' a wife Gabrielle (Isabelle Huppert) ten years ago. They live in a mausoleum of magnificent art and base their existence on the glamorous parties attended by the artists and patrons of the arts in turn of the century Paris. Jean's 'acquisition' of Gabrielle included the understanding that they would have no intimacy: they do sleep in the same bedroom but in separate beds. Their marriage seems perfect - but it is hollow. Rather abruptly Gabrielle leaves a note on the dresser addressed to Jean, a note that states she has left him for a man: her need for sexual gratification has risen to the breaking point. Jean is devastated, but as he nurses his broken glass-injured hand Gabrielle returns: she could not go through with ending the marriage of convenience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Way Men and Women Love
Adapted from Joseph Conrad's short story, The Return (Hesperus Classics), Gabrielle is the story of a husband (Pascal Greggory) whose wife, Gabrielle (Isabelle Huppert) leaves him... Read more
Published on November 23, 2009 by SORE EYES
3.0 out of 5 stars profound or pretentious?
For those who don't know, the director (Chereau) got a really fast start in show business, getting to direct plays while still a teenager. Read more
Published on July 31, 2009 by floridian321
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Enigma
Isabelle Huppert is one of the great actresses of French cinema. She is as beautiful in her early 50's in "Gabrielle," released in 2005, as she was in her late 20's in "La... Read more
Published on November 17, 2008 by Choice Critic
3.0 out of 5 stars Has it's moments, but not particularly engaging
This film is part costume drama and part psychological drama set in France just before WWI. Pascal Gregory plays a successful, wealthy businessman who lives a comfortable life in... Read more
Published on December 15, 2007 by Utah Blaine
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and gripping
This movie held my attention from beginning to end -- it is so beautifully photographed, quite dreamlike, and the two main actors (Huppert and Greggory) give some of their finest... Read more
Published on September 28, 2006 by C. A. HAMPTON
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inferno
Operatic in tone (director Patrice Chereau has mounted numerous stage and opera productions), based on a short story by Joseph Conrad, beautifully costumed and photographed, acted... Read more
Published on August 14, 2006 by MICHAEL ACUNA
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