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The Bridesmaid (2004)

Benoît Magimel , Laura Smet , Claude Chabrol  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Benoît Magimel, Laura Smet, Aurore Clément, Bernard Le Coq
  • Directors: Claude Chabrol
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Unknown)
  • 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: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LPS4FC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,649 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bridesmaid" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Chabrol directs The Bridesmaid" documentary
  • Director Interview
  • Director Biography & Filmography
  • Photo Gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It's love at first sight when bridesmaid Senta falls into the life of a handsome young Phillipe at the wedding of his younger sister. As their passion for one another intensifies, Phillipe slowly discovers that Senta is shrouded in mystery.When one day she asks Phillipe to performa a terrible deed as proof of his love for her,Phillipe must come to terms with who his lover might really be.

A lean, elegant, and venomous thriller, The Bridesmaid is less concerned with sneaky plot twists than with slithering under your skin. A young man named Phillip (Benoit Magimel, The Piano Teacher), who's been pouring all his energy into his job, meets a lovely young woman named Senta (Laura Smet, Gille's Wife) at his sister's wedding. Lured in by Senta's beauty and obsessive passion, Phillip finds himself sinking into Senta's strangely out-of-synch world--and her unsettling demands. Director Claude Chabrol is justly famous for his sinuous thrillers (such as La Ceremonie and La Fleur du Mal) and often called the French Hitchcock, but Chabrol's suspense is very different from Hitchcock's. Chabrol unpeels the layers of Phillip's mind--for example, Chabrol spends as much time on the young man's relationship with his mother as on his affair with Senta, grounding the story firmly in Phillip's psyche. As a result, when Phillip struggles to hold onto Senta, the unstable emotions are as suspenseful as a ticking bomb. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Chabrol film in 9 years June 1, 2007
Chabrol here tackles obsession, and does it masterfully. This is really the story of two obsessed people, not one. One's a man and one's a woman, and each somehow instantly recognizes in the other, upon first meeting, that they are kindred spirits.

It's easy to see this recognition and also easy to see the obsessiveness in each. Senta--incredibly sensual--is, one realizes fairly quickly, a storyteller, a pathological liar. Philippe is obsessed with his mother and with the stone bust of what appears to be a Roman goddess. If the viewer looks closely--VERY closely--it's not hard to see that the faces of the goddess, Senta, and Philippe's mother are all very similar. At one point in the film, he kisses the stone bust on the lips. Is this normal? I think not. In fact, near the beginning of the film, we are amazed to find that the somewhat older woman whom Philippe obviously appears attracted to and whom he physically relates to, in the outside world, as one would a lover, is in fact his mother. This is definitely not normal behavior.

The pacing here is flawless. Chabrol is, one could say, the undisputed master at probing relentless behavior founded on obsession, and here he is really in his element, as he was in his last truly great film, La Ceremonie. While The Bridesmaid still does not have the astonishing intensity and depth of the 1995 film, it is nevertheless a terrific piece of work that never takes a false step.

The DVD is graced with a nice (text) interview with Chabrol, as well as with a short but telling on-the-set featurette. In the interview, Chabrol notes that one of the key elements of any good thriller is a corpse. This does turn up in The Bridesmaid, but in a startling--even shocking--way, as the viewer will see.

Very highly recommended and a welcome return to the pleasures of Chabrol the master of psychological obsession and its dire consequences.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing's Shocking March 29, 2007
I think to say that this film fails because of its implausibility is to miss the point. And to say that Phillip is too "normal" to ever get involved with Senta is to misread this film. From the very start before we ever meet Senta, Phillip is quite obviously attracted to his mother with whom he still lives. He's also strangely attracted to a stone head that decorates the family garden. When the mother decides to give this stone head away to her new love interest, Phillip is jealous and he misses the mothers affections; and he wants his mother's lover dead. Once he accepts that his mother loves another, he transfers all of his love onto the cold object that once decorated the family garden and he longs for its return. When Phillip meets Senta, a human as cold as his beloved stone head, he is given permission to explore his desires (and those desires may seem "unnatural" or "abnormal" or "perverse", it all depends on what you perceive to be "natural" or "normal" or "healthy"). In the world of Chabrol, however, the perverse is the normal and so Chabrol is the perfect director to adapt Rendell's perfectly transparent studies of garden variety psycho and sociopaths. The beauty of Charbol is that everything, from the most ordinary to the most extraordinary, is presented in the same mundane way. Nothing surprises Chabrol's camera. Its his utter neutrality that excites the viewer. His subject matter is Hitchcockian but his treatment of that subject matter is singularly Chabrol.

Not quite as good as La Ceremonie (but then no film of the last ten years has been). Top-drawer Chabrol nonetheless.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The films of French Cinema master Claude Chabrol have been some of the quirkier, intelligent, strange, and creative works to come out of France (La Fleur du mal, Merci pour le chocolat, Au coeur du mensonge, Rien ne va plus, La Cérémonie, L'Enfer, Madame Bovary, Dr. M, etc). His works are marked with sinister underpinnings and his technique has been to place his characters in situations that challenge them to behaviors they consider bizarre until they understand the core of their somewhat deranged personalities. LA DEMOISELLE D'HONNEUR (THE BRIDESMAID) succeeds as a art work on so many levels that the viewer is inclined to forgive some of the dangling missing pieces in character and plot development that prevent this film from being Chabrol's finest. The setting, pacing, cast and concept are intriguingly seductive: that is enough to make the film work well.

The Tardieu family is in the midst of preparing for the wedding of one daughter Sophie (Solène Bouton), learning to accept the new love affair of the mother Christine (Aurore Clément) to a wealthy newly divorced man Gérard (Bernard Le Coq), becoming used to the edgy antisocial behavior of daughter Patricia (Anna Mihalcea), and all the while being cared for by the successful contractor son Philippe (Benoît Magimel). On the television is the report of a murdered young woman and the disruption of a television show frustrates the obsessive Philippe in his work to keep the family focused. We jump to Sophie's wedding to nerdy Jacky (Eric Seigne) whose cousin Stéphanie "Senta" Bellange (Laura Smet) is the bridesmaid of the title. The strange but sensuous Senta captures Philippe's eye and a rather torrid love affair begins.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The bottom of the barrel
The opinions of previous reviewers demonstrate a significant degree of dissatisfaction with this work of Chabrol, five of 13 rating it only 3 stars. Read more
Published on October 16, 2012 by David M. Goldberg
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre effort from a fine director
The acting is OK, sets and photography gorgeous, Chabrol is a meticulous director. But the story (from a novel by Ruth Rendell, British author of police procedurals and... Read more
Published on October 7, 2011 by Dale Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Successful adaptation of Rendell to French milieu
A good bourgeois household in the suburbs of Nantes,Philippe(Benoit Magimel) is a salesman who lives with his widowed mother,Christine(Clement) and 2 sisters,Sophie and Patricia. Read more
Published on July 27, 2010 by technoguy
4.0 out of 5 stars Meet the Bridesmaid
Benoit Magimel stars as Philippe in "The Bridesmaid," a 2004 adaptation of the popular Ruth Rendell whodunit. Read more
Published on November 21, 2009 by Westley
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly Chabrol's best film...
...full stop.

"La Ceremonie" was arguably too Nietzschean and morbid for its own sake. Its portrayal of class arguably too obvious and reductive. Read more
Published on March 25, 2008 by morristeflon
3.0 out of 5 stars Claude Chabrol Directs Ruth Rendell Thriller Again
[The following review includes mild spoilers.]

French veteran director Claude Chabrol takes up again Ruth Rendell's thriller (after his terrific "Judgment of Stone" made... Read more
Published on September 19, 2007 by Tsuyoshi
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Dress
Claude Chabrol does not need to be compared to Alfred Hitchcock. His cinematic view of family obligation, obsession in everyday life, and cliché rituals (such as weddings)... Read more
Published on September 4, 2007 by Samantha M. Summers
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe best Chabrol in his late period
Perfectly done, crisp performed and directed by Claude Chabrol; - a director, who is not in my list as a favorite one. Read more
Published on May 13, 2007 by AregAsa
3.0 out of 5 stars Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride
Claude Chabrol's film adaptation of Ruth Rendell's novel is fascinating to watch, but it ultimately has the same problem as the source material. Read more
Published on March 30, 2007 by Tom S.
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This French thriller from director Claude Chabrol introduces a tightly-wound young man named Philippe who falls for a moody, intense femme fatale named Senta, who he meets at his... Read more
Published on March 26, 2007 by DJ Joe Sixpack
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