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A Girl Cut in Two


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Editorial Reviews

blockbuster exclusive dvd

Product Details

  • Actors: Ludivine Sagnier, Benoit Magimel, Francois Berleand
  • Directors: Claude Chabrol
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Subtitled
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: IFC Films
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002CKOEBM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,338 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

It didn't have a sterotypical ending.
Bookworm936
The setting is not Paris but rather the smaller southern French city of Lyon, which is beautifully captured on film.
cs211
A must for anyone who has ever truly been in love with someone who did not love them in return.
nurwho

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Gabrielle Deneige (Ludivine Sagnier) is blonde, friendly, smart but not shrewd or sophisticated. She's a weather presenter on a local television station. Her mother manages a bookstore. Charles Saint-Denis (Francois Berleand) is a famous man of letters, winner of the Prix Goncourt. He's three decades her senior, wealthy, charming, aging and a rake. His wife loves him. Paul Gaudens (Benoit Magimel) is spoiled, arrogant, the young heir to the Gaudens chemical millions and seems to need a keeper to smooth over the trouble he causes for others and himself. His father is dead. His mother is elegant and icy. Both men become fixated on Gabrielle. Saint-Dennis, because she gives him youth and sex, because she is a malleable bit of female clay he can instruct in the worldly ways of sexual dissolution. Gaudens, because she doesn't fall over for him, yet treats him as the attractive man he thinks himself to be. Both men detest each other. Both would be fine catches for any ambitious young woman. Please note that elements of the plot are discussed..

Gabrielle falls in love with Saint-Denis, and is even willing to climb the carved, wooden, circular staircase with him in the elegant rake's club he takes her to, introducing her to his fellow aging, wealthy libertines. Charles wants her, has her, then doesn't want the entanglements, then wants her, then doesn't want the bother of leaving his wife, then wants her. Paul wants her, is furious with Charles for having her, wants her, wants her, wants her. And Gabrielle? The best description of her situation comes from Roger Ebert: "The three central characters are in an emotional fencing match, and Gabrielle lacks a mask." That she survives, and don't ask about the other two, makes a fine story that has not a trace of melodrama.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm936 on July 14, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I felt the movie was just alright. It felt very slow to me. It took a while before anything remotely interesting happened. I was almost ready to give up on it. A young girl falls for an old married author. The author feeds her lines that he loves her and will leave his wife and things of this nature. The girl then starts hanging out with a young wealthy heir. She is eventually torn between the two men although it is most evident which one she prefers. I really enjoyed the ending. It didn't have a sterotypical ending. Actually, the ending is why I gave it 3 stars. I don't want to ruin it by giving it away and the ending isn't life changing or anything of that nature...I just liked it because it wasn't the typical happy ending riding off into the sunset on a white horse along the beach sort of thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cs211 on November 27, 2011
Format: DVD
Romantic liaisons between younger women and older men aren't supposed to last. The initial impulse isn't supposed to last, the incompatibilities in age and lack of shared cultural experiences are supposed to prevent a deep bond from forming, and the censure of polite society is supposed to eventually cause the parties to sever their ties. Yet what if the initial impulse is deep enough, and various parties around the lovers are rash enough, to trigger effects which last for the lifetimes of both participants? This is the intriguing scenario explored by director/writer Claude Chabrol (assisted by writer Cecile Maistre) in "A Girl Cut in Two".

The "May" of the romance is a young on-air television personality wonderfully played by Ludivine Sagnier, who in this film is the embodiment of the expression "a breath of fresh air". The "September" of the romance is an aging author and intellectual capably portrayed by Francois Berleand. Sagnier manages to demonstrate some believable longing and chemistry towards Berleand, even though their scenes together are not explicit (Sagnier fans will see a lot more of her, so to speak, in the film "Swimming Pool"). Unfortunately for our lovers, not only is Berleand's character married as well as fussed over by a publicity agent (played by Mathilda May) with whom he is also dallying on the side, but Sagnier's character is the desired object of affection of a brash, spoiled young heir played by Benoit Magimel. This combustible mix eventually explodes, as it must.

"A Girl Cut in Two" is a very French film, and will appeal to those seeking an immersion in French culture, society, and morals. The setting is not Paris but rather the smaller southern French city of Lyon, which is beautifully captured on film.
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Format: DVD
Claude Chabrol has been a favorite of mine for many years. His early films, Le Beau Serge (1958) & Les Cousins (1959), are New Wave film festival favorites nearly impossible to find on VHS and unavailable on DVD. But his 1960's & early 1970's stuff (Les Biches, La Femme Infidele, Le Boucher) is definitely available and more than worth your while. These were the films that earned him the "French Hitchcock" title. Most of his films deal exclusively with infidelity among the social elite, but on rare occasions, ie. Le Boucher, he also explores middle class transgressions. And on even rarer occasions, ie. La Ceremonie (1995), he explores the tensions between the classes.

Claude Chabrol is a New Wave director that has a recognizable style but that style has steadily evolved over the years. The early Hitchcock influence is no longer as apparent, but this keenly observant directors sense of how social setting & psychology interact with each other has never been stronger than it is now. The old films usually hinged around a murder, the new ones around more mundane but equally fascinating choices.

A Girl Cut in Two is about two men in love with the same young woman. Both of the men are wealthy while the woman is not. It is a story about money and the privilege it bestows and also about the relative merits of innocence & experience.

The real star here is Ludivine Sagnier who played the promiscuous nubile "Julie" in Francois Ozon's Swimming Pool. Here she plays Gabrielle who is in many ways reminiscent of Julie in that Gabrielle too is an interesting combination of naive audacity & extreme vulnerability.

The men who fall for Gabrielle are famous author Charles Saint-Denis & idle heir Paul Gaudens.
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