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Therese

3.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Audrey Tautou (Amelie) stars in famed director Claude Miller s (A Secret) final film, a gorgeously photographed adaptation of Nobel Prize® winner François Mauriac s 1927 novel about one woman s fight for love against the social norms of French provincial life.

In the pine-forested Landes region in southwest France, young Thérèse (Tautou) has married wealthy but arrogant Bernard Desqueyroux (Gilles Lellouche, Little White Lies) and is now part of the oppressively traditionalist Desqueyroux family. Although able to live in the lap of luxury, Thérèse soon realizes that her role is to be forever subservient to Bernard and act as little more than his accessory. When her best friend (and Bernard s younger sister) Anna (Anaïs Demoustier, Time of the Wolf) falls madly in love with a handsome young Portuguese man, Thérèse is tasked by the family to persuading Anna to forego her planned nuptials. But as she witnesses first-hand Anna s passionate determination to keep her lover by her side, Thérèse finds her own desire growing and soon sets out to free herself from the provincial conventions that threaten to keep her forever repressed.

Heartfelt, touching, and featuring an emotionally charged performance from Tautou, THÉRÈSE is a glorious testament to one woman s unwavering quest for true love.

Product Details

  • Actors: Audrey Tautou, Gilles Lellouche
  • Directors: Claude Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: November 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EMAGJ68
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,712 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This film boasts wonderful sets, clothes, music, and cinematography. The acting is all first rate also. Much of the story is told with a minimum of strokes, so don't expect to have it all spelled out. There are also no clear-cut answers or endings, so if that drives you crazy you might want to skip it. If you enjoyed the last film by Miller/Tautou - Secret - you'll probably be up for this one. I'd compare it to the classic Merchant/Ivory films.
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Set in the mid 1920's,Therese, chronicles the marriage of two French aristocrats whose wealth comes from owning large tracts of land. They live in manor houses on estates covered with pine forests and generally have almost nothing to do beyond hunting, dining and worrying about the respectability of the family name. Tradition runs deep and we quickly learn that everyone adheres closely to it.

As the film opens, Therese is shown as a relatively normal teenager playing and laughing with her best friend Anne, whose brother she is expected to marry. We learn that Anne has taken up the aristocratic sport of hunting, which Therese finds appalling but there is little more exposition of Therese's character and the film jumps to her short courtship and marriage. Therese and her intended, an older man named Bernard, both agree that it is good to marry their forests together, but other than that they appear to have little in common. We assume that the coming marriage will have little passion, but the movie is really about Therese's deeper compulsions.

As her wedding approaches there is a short scene with Anne in which Therese states that she is having thoughts she shares with no one and believes that marriage will correct them. She repeats this to Bernard and we get the feeling that perhaps she is protesting the lack of intellectual respect for women and their thoughts. At this point the viewer is prepared to learn more about her views and how they are thwarted by the society she lives in. Without giving away too many details of the story, my problem with the film stems from the fact that the nature of these thoughts and her subsequent behaviors are never explored or foreshadowed in a satisfying manner.
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It is the summer of 1922. Two French girls, Therese (Audrey Tautou) and Anne (Anais Demoustier), nearing the cusp of womanhood are enjoying the simple pleasures of the French countryside. Riding their bikes, playing tag, and dreaming about the future. Fast-forward six years and Therese is about to marry Anne's brother Bernard (Gilles Lellouch). We sense the first tinge of trouble when Therese says her head is "too full of ideas" and she hopes marriage will settle her down. She hopes marriage will save her and she will be "at peace", she confesses. These are never good reasons to marry. The viewer may wonder if she has a mental illness. Later, you may wonder even more.

It's a marriage of convenience, rich marrying rich. The provincial marrying the boor. As psychologists say, when you marry for money, you earn every cent. Therese and Bernard will both experience that by the end of this film. Therese longs for something else. She glimpses what she longs for when she meets the first love of Anne. Jean (Stanley Weber) talks of spurning conventionality and dreams big dreams. You sense it is wakening something in her. But there are so little choices for women who dream, who marry young, and are stuck in the French countryside. You pity them. You pity their servants even more.

This movie could be titled "Desperate Measures", as Therese goes to desperate measures to free herself. She envisions herself doing desperate things. And she acts on some of her visions. Therese is not necessarily a sympathetic character, nor is her husband or their families. However, you see how imprisoned she is because of the times, narrow choices for women and her location. We never discuss feelings, Therese admits to Jean. We discuss hunting and the weather.
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Format: Amazon Video
Warning: plot spoiler included

I had mixed feelings about this film.
What I loved: the beauty of the location and filming, the outdoor lifestyle, the settings
What troubled me: the selfish cruelty of how Therese dealt with her unhappiness. Instead of having the guts to extricate herself in a way that would only risk herself, she resorts to a cruel means to try to free herself. I had a hard time sympathizing with her after that, especially seeing her lack of empathy or remorse.
What helped: there was some redemption later on, and some touching final scenes.
1 Comment 5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I had read the novel Thérèse Desqueyroux when I was an adolescent and had hated it. Seeing the film made me want to read it again and I was amazed at how faithful the film was to the book. The actors are wonderful. I found Gilles Dellouche in the role of Bernard, the husband, nicer in the film than in the novel. Audrey Tautou, famous for Amélie, shows what a dramatic actress she can be!
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Format: DVD
I'm truly a fan of both the lovely Audrey Tautou and French cinema in general. I've seen everything she's done so far, and let me tell you - This is NOT her best performance! I must say that part of the problem was in the editing. I watched about 15 minutes and had to turn it off.
Let me warn all the couple out there too - this is NOT a date movie! This is one of those films that leaves you feeling miserable after you watch it. If your girlfriend/boyfriend already has mental issues or insecurities? FORGET WATCHING THIS FILM - You'll be sorry you did! lol
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