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Acclaimed French author Marguerite Duras (Hiroshima Mon Amour) directs renowned French star Jeanne Moreau (Jules and Jim) in this elliptical, elusory story about the world of women in which dull domestic ritual masks an undercurrent of lurking violence.
Moreau and Lucia Bose costar as two friends who worry about the violent behavior of Bose s daughter, discuss the immigration status of their housekeeper, and contemplate the news about escaped convicts as they do the breakfast dishes. Gerard Depardieu appears as a door-to-door salesman who mistakes their nonchalance as an invitation to hang around.
A precursor to the work of Chantal Ackerman and Claire Denis, NATHALIE GRANGER is a landmark of women s cinema.
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Top customer reviews
This is a subtle, mysterious work, full of intimations of violence (as in the very first scene, where the schoolteacher talks about "that violence!" but when we see the girl, she is very quiet, almost docile), yet the surface of the film is unnervingly calm and placid. Two women (played by two of the most mesmerizing actresses, Jeanne Moreau and Lucia Bose) enact a number of domestic rituals (dredging the pool, etc.); reviewing the film when it showed at the New York Film Festival, Manny Farber and Pat Patterson noted that the two actresses moved through the film like becalmed majesties.
Made in 1972, this film is a precursor to the domestic epic of Chantal Akerman's JEANNE DIELMAN. The black-and-white cinematography of Ghislain Cloquet is full of subtle gradations and glimmerings, recalling the pearly magnificence of his work for Robert Bresson on AU HASARD, BALTHAZAR and MOUCHETTE. As with most of her novels, the method Duras uses in this film is one of indirection, allusion, and suggestiveness. Admittedly, it's not an easy film, and the literary methodology of Duras is not likely to appeal to action-oriented audiences, but for those who can adjust to Duras's rhythms, this film can prove to be a seductive experience, and nothing could be more seductive than Moreau and Bose, especially in the scene where they stare down the travelling salesman (played by a young Gerard Depardieu).
The disc of extras is quite helpful in providing clues as to the intentions of this mysterious movie, and makes this a very satisfying package for those interested in finding out more about Duras and her methods.