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La Cérémonie [Blu-ray]

Isabelle Huppert , Sandrine Bonnaire , Claude Chabrol    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £8.13 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Isabelle Huppert, Sandrine Bonnaire
  • Directors: Claude Chabrol
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 23 July 2012
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00820Y1T6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,205 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

In La Ceremonie, Claude Chabrol, known as the "French Hitchcock," creates one of his most shocking and unforgettable thrillers. Catherine (Jacqueline Bisset) hires the illiterate Sophie as her maid. But Sophie soon falls under the influence of the mysterious Jeanne (Isabelle Huppert, The Piano Player, Merci Pour Le Chocolate), and the stage is set for a tale of murder, violence, and betrayal. One of Chabrol's most acclaimed films, and winner of numerous international awards, La Ceremonie is a masterpiece of suspense.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), French ( Dolby Linear PCM ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: The upper-class owner of a gallery, Catherine Lelievre, hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie to work in the family manor in the French countryside. Her husband Georges Lelievre, who is an opera lover, her daughter Melinda and her teenage son Gilles welcome Sophie and appreciate her work. Sophie soon befriends the postmistress Jeanne, who is a bad egg and encourages Sophie to rebel against her employers, but the maid stays submissive. However, Sophie is ashamed of a secret and feels uncomfortable in many situations, finding a way to hide her secret. When Georges tells Sophie that he does not want Jeanne in his house, Sophie stands up to him. Melinda discovers her secret and Sophie blackmails her, but Melinda tells her parents what happened. Georges fires Sophie and she returns to the house later with Jeanne on the rampage. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Ceasar Awards, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, ...A Judgement in Stone ( La cérémonie ) ( Blutiger Engel (Biester) ) (Blu-Ray)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is about Sophie (Sandrine Bonaire), who has applied to be the maid for Catherine Lelievre (Jacqueline Bisset) and her family. She has a son from a previous marriage and hubby Georges has a daughter from his. They live in a huge house on the outskirts of an end of the line town in France. She is given the job of looking after the whole family, as well as cleaning and cooking for them. They initially come across as considerate, offering to pay for driving lessons etc, but soon they just seem to treat her like a slave.

Then she meets the girl from the Post Office - Jeanne played by Isabel Huppert, who has a passionate dislike for the whole rotten family and starts to awaken the latent hate that is fermenting in Sophie. The other thing is they both have a past, and their pasts are achingly similar. Sophie also is covering up for the fact that she is illiterate and seems ashamed about it.

As the restrictions on her bring into focus the simmering resentment of certain members of the family, things are going to inevitably come to a head. This French film was made in 1995 and has been re released on DVD in the UK and I am rather glad that it has. This was one of those films where not a lot appears to happen, when in actual fact all the nuances of the mundane and ordinary are all building up a tapestry that will conclude with the final acts of the protagonists. It is just a brilliant film, where every single performance is so convincing without seeming to try and it had me absolutely transfixed for the duration, seriously I can not recommend highly enough.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection 3 Feb 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is the film that got me into French cinema. I first saw it one late night on Channel 4 and was facinated by Bonnaire's ability to hold the screen with the minimum of facial expression and beautifully judged physicality. Having watched it many times since, Isabelle Huppert's post mistress becomes funnier and funnier in what is another example of her position at the very top of French acting. A superbly paced film, it has even persuaded me to try out Ruth Rendell's original novel - an author I had previously dismissed.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chabrol/Huppert 13 Jun 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Based on Ruth Rendell's novel A Judgment in Stone, Claude Chabrol's 1995 film is fascinating and disturbing. Illiterate Sandrine Bonnaire joins the French countryhouse of Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Cassell as a maid and along the way befriends postal clerk Isabelle Huppert. Chabrol's previous concerns have been about the bourgeoisie exploiting the working classes but Bisset and her family are nothing but kind to Bonnaire so their fate seems cruel and unwarranted. Bonnaire's Sophie is meant to be dim because she eats chocolates and watches TV indiscriminately. We're left to ponder Huppert's character, who is clearly unbalanced and who leads Bonnaire astray. Huppert is Chabrol's favourite actress and he rewards her with big closeups. Her Jeanne is funny, wears plaits and chews gum and is dangerously irrational. She has a great monologue in profile about the death of her daughter which she delivers in one take while she drives, knifing away sentiment yet still conveying the sadness in her Garbo-like mask face. It's interesting to see the still beautiful Bisset play a mother of teenage children and to hear her speak in French. You can sense her pleasure in this role and Chabrol let's us see her great legs. Chabrol is too subtle a director to manipulate us with the conventions of the thriller. His soundtrack is bare and the climactic violence leaves us shocked yet not unsurprised. I like the use of colour in the film - Bisset's yellow teacups, Huppert's salmon car, Bonnaire's blue jumper with daisies - and the way the final irony repeats the shock of the murder we have already witnessed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TYPICAL FRENCH MASTERPIECE 9 Oct 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Many will find this film too slow-moving for their taste, but it is filled with excellent characterisations that one can relax and enjoy.
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