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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 26 reviews
on January 27, 2005
Envy turns to hatred when fused with helpless frustration bordering on impotence. Is this a film about class warfare? The struggle between the have and have-nots? Not really, although these distinctions do play a central role in establishing a context. This is a film about how two relatively inert elements (the two principal characters) can become explosively unstable when brought together within this context. From the very beginning of the film, when we first see our heroine approaching our vantage point from across a street, there's a sense of doom - a feeling that we have begun a journey down a one-way street that will end in a collision of some sort. The subtle changes of pace, the music, the increasingly bold dialog between the two girls, and Sandrine Bonnaire's chilling performance as Sophie gradually serve to increase our discomfort until the almost surreal conclusion. And as the dark foreboding music from Mozart's Don Giovanni (how appropriate!) plays on, we can only sit dumbfounded as the closing credits roll by.
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VINE VOICEon October 14, 2007
I enjoyed "La Ceremonie" and I wasn't particularly bothered that I had purchased the movie thinking it was something it wasn't. The problem for me was the several references of Chabrol (in reviews of his movies) as the "Gallic [French] Hitchcock". Alfred Hitchcock was the master of suspense and knew how to allure his audience into an uncomfortable state of tension. His methods were often subtle, often brilliant, and usually very effective. What I realized early on in "La Ceremonie" was the absence of real suspense. Indeed, whatever suspense there was lay in wondering when the suspense would begin. I finally gave up on that aspect 3/4's of the way through the movie (if not sooner). I settled back, instead, to enjoy the director's brilliant work at developing his characters. When something finally "hit the fan", it was over quickly and, even with a mild twist at the very end, was more of a dissapointment than anything else.

I ordered several movies by Chabrol and this is the first of them that I watched. I'm tossing out the Hitchcock comparisons and looking to see the work of Chabrol instead. He's not Hitchcock but when that name is removed from the discussion, he turns out to be a pretty good Chabrol.
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on October 15, 2014
A highly unusual movie that attempts to mix three different story strategies. First, it's a thriller about two psychopaths who have murdered before. They meet, become pals, and slaughter a family of four. Second, it's social commentary--a "Marxist film" in Chabrol's words--because the psychopaths are poor and the family they butcher is well-to-do. Third, the film turns comic at the end. When the psychopaths finally cut loose, the release is so outrageous and juvenile, that we're asked to laugh. And the joke continues through to the end, with a goofball priest executing blind justice on one of the psychopaths through a deus-ex-machina auto accident.

The film is engaging, because it keeps you guessing. Am I supposed to dread the psychopaths? Or am I supposed to side with them against their bourgeois oppressors? But when the comic element kicks in, the suspension of disbelief goes out the window. This isn't a story about psychopaths killing an innocent family, nor is it a story about class warfare. It's just a bunch of film people having fun.
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on June 18, 2008
I can find no finer actresses to listen to or look at than Sandrine Bonnaire and Isabel Huppert. With both in the same film- Heaven!
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on March 9, 2011
I agree with another reviewer here...this movie just left me cold and disgusted...I guess people think because it is French, it must be clever? With all the cliches of class struggle, obvious symbolism, and a movie that overstayed its welcome, I just felt, well, almost nauseated....just watch a movie like In Cold Blood which was a thousand times more creative in its handling of "senseless" violence...La Ceremonie feels like a cheap porn film with all the sex scenes "implied"....I doubt I will watch another Chabrol film...what a waste of time!!!
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