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Therese (English Subtitled) 2013

NR CC
3.3 out of 5 stars (23) IMDb 6.1/10

French, subtitled in English. Audrey Tautou stars as a provincial housewife in 1920s France, whose marriage to a boorish landowner inspires her to make a fatal bid for freedom, in Claude Miller's adaptation of the novel by François Mauriac.

Starring:
Audrey Tautou, Gilles Lellouche
Runtime:
1 hour, 50 minutes

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By bunnyrabbit4 VINE VOICE on December 15, 2013
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
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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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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
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.
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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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