Le Divorce 2003 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(145) IMDb 4.9/10
Available in HD
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Based on the 1997 National Book Award-nominated novel of the same name by Diane Johnson (co-writer of the script for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining), Le Divorce is a romantic comedy from director James Ivory. Revisiting the "Americans in France" theme that Ivory explored in 1998's A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, the film stars Kate Hudson as Isabel Walker.

Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson
1 hour 58 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Le Divorce

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Le Divorce

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Product Details

Genres Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director James Ivory
Starring Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson
Supporting actors Naomi Watts, Esmée Buchet-Deàk, Jean-Jacques Pivert, Melvil Poupaud, Catherine Samie, Samuel Labarthe, Leslie Caron, Thierry Lhermitte, Nathalie Richard, Samuel Gruen, Peter Wyckoff, Sandrel Lonnoy, Glenn Close, Marianne Borgo, Sam Waterston, Stockard Channing, Thomas Lennon, Romain Duris
Studio Fox Searchlight
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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

The real problem is its characters, or the way the film shows them on the screen.
The apparent point of this film is to spotlight the differing French and American cultural attitudes towards marriage, sex, divorce, and extra-marital affairs.
Joseph Haschka
I watched the whole movie, hoping that it would get better...but nope- didn't happen.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 15, 2004
Format: DVD
For those who do not understand French film making this movie may not be exciting but for those of us who understand this is an excellent movie that speaks to the way the French treat relationships and marriage. Some may think that it is misogynistic ---far from it though it is just a very real presentation of the French way of doing things that happens to include a few american girls whose inclusion brings cultural differences into sharp focus.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. Dickerson on January 10, 2007
Format: DVD
The majority of the Amazon reviewers for this movie were unhappy with it, but I think most of them didn't really "get" the movie. I think Americans who've lived abroad, especially in Europe, are more likely to appreciate the views expressed in this film concerning culture clash between Americans and Europeans, the French specifically.

I won't outline the plot, as that is done in too many other reviews, but let me just say that I came to appreciate this film more the 2nd and 3rd times I viewed it. The script somewhat forgoes conventional character development, and the viewer must be savvy enough to pick up on the characters' actions to discern their motivations. Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson make two pretty believable sisters as Roxy and Isabel -- Roxy is married with one young child and another on the way when her husband leaves her. Isabel is the affectionate but somewhat self-absorbed, immature younger sister who comes to Paris to keep Roxy company, but definitely persues her own agenda and ends up getting sucked into some sordid goings-on with her French in-laws.

The film touches on many themes and deals with the emotional upheaval and trauma of divorce while at the same time trying to retain the feel of intelligent romantic-comedy. It is perhaps trying to accomplish too much, as you can tell by the editing that some scenes were cut out to prevent it from being an over-long film. This is especially evident in Isabel's relationship with Yves. One minute, she's meeting him, and the next she's in bed with him. That is unfortunate on the filmmakers' part, but it didn't take too much enjoyment away from me, as I didn't have a problem filling in the blanks. But I know that not everyone can tolerate these kinds of faults in filmmaking.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Carol H. on November 16, 2005
Format: DVD
If you are fond of linear plots in which one event leads to another and the whole leads to a more or less apparent conclusion, "Le divorce" is not likely to make much of an impression on you. It is not even one of those typical Merchant Ivory films which hark back nostalgically to Victorian England or the times of the Raj. "Le divorce" is something like a voyeur peep into the life of two families, one upper-crust French, the other high-brow American which are bound together by the couple whose marriage is drifting apart. The plot has not enough dramatic flair as to have been made into a film, if plot were the only thing to account for to define a film as a work of art, but it has plenty of charm if, like me, you are partial to Paris. For those who love French lifestyle the film will prove delicious: superb decors, shots in Café Flore, the understated stardom of a plush Hermès Kelly bag and Leslie Caron's appearance as the embodiment of French chic and cartesian rationale...all these will appeal to you. Glenn Close is also breathtaking as ever as the American writer who after years of living in Paris has impeccably assimilated the best of both cultures. This is not a film for a rainy day and less so for people who look for entertainment of jaded senses. This is a hedonistic film for the dilettanti, the bon-vivant, to be savoured slowly like a good vintage bordeaux.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Lee on May 16, 2004
Format: DVD
The joy of this film is not the comedy (though one cannot help but laugh at the interactions of the vividly drawn characters in this film); this film's redemption comes in the sharp eye it takes to the relationships and the differences in the French and American people.
In the film, Americans are as comicly cheap, gauche ("It's so perfectly convenient, why wouldn't I want to carry it everywhere?", Kate Hudson says of a ten thousand dollar bag), and laidback, as the French are hysterically haughty ("Sugar grains? How original!", the French Mother insults the American daughter-in-law), frivolous, and decadent.
I think that many went into this movie looking for the wrong thing. This is not the typical Kate Hudson romantic comedy, this is not some crass slapstick routine about an American fumbling around in Europe, this is a sophisticated look at a head-butting of American attitudes and French ideals.
Visually, the film delights with quick peekings into not only French cuisine, landscape, architecture, and art, but also with disturbing images of sadness and pain. In one scene, Kate Hudson walks into her sister's apartment to find her slumped over a couch bleeding to death.
Sure, the movie does jump around, but it had a lot of ground to cover: for those interested in a quick, brainless, formulaic presentation of boy-meets-girl plotting, this movie will disappoint; but for those who are interested in a well thought out, yet charming, juxtaposition of the modern French and today's American, this film will go down as a contemporary screen gem.
(And of the title, Le Divorce: while much of the movie does thematically circle around the idea of divorce, it's actually quite ironic the rigidity of the French idea of divorce and the American.
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