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Mouchette (The Criterion Collection)
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While you can certainly reconstruct the events portrayed in this film in terms of a standard plot structure, Bresson seems unwilling to plot out the story of Mouchette; in an interview contained on this dvd he says to a reporter that if he could sum up what happens to Mouchette it would be absurd to make a movie of it. He aims only to give the essentials, showing no more than what is absolutely necessary, with the implication that as viewers we feel as though the world we are shown piecemeal is much bigger and more complete than what we are permitted to see.Read more ›
Mouchette is not the most famous of Bresson's films but it's one of the best I've seen - though admittedly this is misleading, as most of Bresson's films after the late 40s are masterpieces. Mouchette's life is almost unrelentingly awful; her mother is dying, and most of her verbal contact with Mouchette consists of orders to look after the baby and get her some more gin; her father takes whatever money she earns, and her brother never says anything at all. She lives in a grotty village in a totally unattractive-looking part of Provence, where the local boys have nothing better to do than drop their pants in her direction, and where her sole recreation is throwing mud at her schoolmates. Nadine Nortier, one of a string of non-professional actors to be burdened with carrying a Bresson movie, is stunning as the teenaged Mouchette. Few cinematic leading ladies have been so utterly unglamorous.Read more ›
Bresson depicts the utter malice than can lay behind a rural community to the abject meanness of poverty.
Asked to sing along in school, her voice was pretty until she hit the high notes and then she was ostracized by her teacher. What was there ever in her life to sing about? Altho at home, doing her chores her voice shines with sweetness
And her only moment of joy on the amusement park car flirting with possibly the only smile in her life, taken away in exchange for a night with a poacher.
It's amazing how her everyday face is a frown, except when she is tending to her dying mother when her face is beautifically transformed to absolute love and adoration.
And I don't believe Bresson asks you to feel sorry for her. He is just showing us.
Mouchette finally needs to confess something to her mother, possibly the only time she has asked for help or advice but at that moment , her mother dies.
That day, an old lady in town gives mouchette a shroud for her mother and a beautiful dress, the kind you might wear to confirmation or a baptism. She has had only had tattered rags and ill fitting clunky shoes all her life.
Altho my description may sound melodramatic, the movie is not.It doesn't try to play on your emotions.
The last scene is haunting and unforgettable.
This is a most beautiful movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This film, based on the novel by G. Bernanos, is a moving portrait of an outcast. Mouchette is a member of a poor family. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Luc REYNAERT
I continue to admire and appreciate Bresson, without being able to embrace some of his films completely. Read morePublished 3 months ago by K. Gordon
the viewer must struggle to put the pieces together to later. Here is a 14 year old girl who is fully capable of love, passion, and joy. Read morePublished 12 months ago by mr. contrarian
Robert Bresson's 1967 masterpiece Mouchette is the second of two adaptations he made of novels by the French Catholic and staunch monarchist writer Georges Bernanos. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Film Buff
Naturally this is a brilliant film. If you can't see it on the screen, this is a pretty close second. Read morePublished on December 8, 2013 by Karl P.
Robert Bresson's adaptation of Georges Bernanos novel, `Mouchette', is a film that will quietly sneak up on you, mostly because of the brilliant performance by the young lead,... Read morePublished on October 14, 2013 by Andrew Ellington
The reason the film does succeed, and rises to greatness, rests primarily on the shoulders of the lead actress, Nadine Nortier, who, despite little dialogue, conveys great depths... Read morePublished on September 1, 2010 by Cosmoetica
Robert Bresson distills the superficial portrait of the archetypal gamin in order to derive the indelibly bleak and caustic cinematic image of Mouchette. Read morePublished on January 6, 2010 by Le_Samourai
The Bottom Line:
After seeing and loving A Man Escaped I got really excited about Bresson but two films later (Pickpocket and this one) I'm not convinced that the first... Read more