Mademoiselle Chambon [DVD]
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After the international success of NOT HERE TO BE LOVED, acclaimed French director Stéphane Brizé returns with MADEMOISELLE CHAMBON, a beautifully crafted tale of an unexpected romance between a married man, Jean (Vincent Lindon) and his son's school teacher, Véronique Chambon (Sandrine Kiberlain) and their desperate attempt to keep their desires from spiraling into a full-blown affair, which threatens to turn everything around them upside down. Winner of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2010 César Awards.
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Top Customer Reviews
The film is a study of loneliness: the barren life of a single school teacher who exists on her own without friends or a lover; and of a man who is constrained by his male role as a manual worker but who also feels alone in a marriage where he has failed to find a way to reveal his inner thoughts to his wife. Such emptiness, however, cannot remain for long where there is a spark between two people.
Lindon and Kiberlain stumble through a minefield of conflicting conscience, attempting to reconcile new feelings with old loyalties and their sense of morality. Of all the questions raised by the film, the most significant is probably: 'Do the central characters leave the film with a greater understanding of themselves or each other?'
Another fine example of the capacity of French cinema, more than any other, to produce films of emotional complexity and sensitivity. Bravo!
I am amazed to see critics comment on the lack of "eventful" action. What has happened to viewers? Do they expect CGI and explosions all the time? This is, quite simply, a wonderfully acted little masterpiece. Vincent Lindon is fascinating as a manual worker who seems perfectly happy with his lot in life, until he meets his son's enigmatic teacher (Sandrine Kiberlain). She embodies an undoubtedly disappointed woman, although, apart from one clue in a telephone message from her mother, there is no definite answer as to what that sadness relates to. Her ability to express herself is through the violin, whilst Vincent Lindon's is through his work as a builder.
An attraction of opposites is a common ploy in films, but, here, there is a sublety lacking in so many other films. The attraction between the two is mainly conveyed by embarrassed glances and the quality of the acting means that this is eminently watchable, as it is done by two consummate actors. There are two scenes which are almost unbearably beautiful to watch, and many more which will stay in your memory.
Please watch this. You will not regret it (unless of course, you want CGI-generated films). Quality and good acting are what make films masterpieces. This qualifies on those two counts.
Now, I need to find more good movies featuring the same actors and directors. If you can handle sub titles, you will really enjoy this film !
I was hoping this film would be an understated gem, but sadly it just misses the mark. The acting is very good, both Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlain being outstanding and well matched, so the problem lies elsewhere. The film is a kind of reworking of Brief Encounter, but the comparison shows up the insipid direction of this effort. A middle-aged builder falls in love with his son's teacher, reciprocally, and finds himself completely overwhelmed, perhaps even more so because so little is said between any of the characters. Lindon does brilliantly with the role, but the visuals are, in the end, nothing more than pretty, and never cut through to match the intensity of the feelings. Some sort of visual equivalent is needed, particularly when nothing is said. The sense of place is minimal, the interiors bland - probably based to an extent on the Danish painter Hammershoi, whose poster the teacher has on her wall. But there is none of the magic of that artist's austerity. In terms of the way family life is shown, a feeling of banality is hard to escape, because the director Stephane Brize has not managed to get under the surface. In Brief Encounter the visuals are very strong, the dialogues and voice-over intense - the opposite of here. Another comparison might be with the recent German film Free Fall, where there is a parallel situation of the wife being pregnant. In that film the husband falls for another man. This in itself makes less difference than the much more full-on treatment, again with matching visual expression, so that by the end you really feel something. Here you just feel, as Barbara starts to sing on the soundtrack and the shot pulls away from a window enough for us to see a picturesque geranium in a pot, how much more could have been got into this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Outrageously poor! Couldn't make it to the end...... Creepy performances all round!Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
Quite a touching film about an unlikely relationship between an attractive primary teacher and a builder which holds the attention well as we wonder how things will ultimately turn... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mike K
This film does not merit the plaudits here - I am at a loss to see how it warranted the critical acclaim at whatever festivals. Comparisons with Brief Encounter are baseless. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mr. G. A. Irwin
Really, really good but I wouldn t call it Great. Agonising tension as we wait for the inevitable action and disappointment at the very close,,,Published 7 months ago by kate second
Such an elegantly played story which could only be played out in France. I found it a delight but I note the absence of violence and gentle pacing could disappoint those in search... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Archie
Like this DVD...good standard of acting from everyone. Really enjoyable film of forbidden love...which happens all the time.Published 10 months ago by Paul Blue Eyes.
Seldom have I seen such a stunning history of a common man and a school teacher who also plays violin. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Stephan H Cohenroellvaneyck