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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 10 January 2008
Full-blooded, thrilling, gruelling, brilliantly acted and filmed rollercoaster-ride through the life of the hugely controversial and mysterious Claudel. Adjani is sensational in the role of a lifetime (if not SEVERAL lifetimes!). The movie rushes at breathtaking speed and at a level of emotional intensity you rarely see in a movie without it becoming overwrought (it doesn't). Really this is such an underrated and unfairly neglected piece of work.

Certainly if you are at all interested in Claudel you should watch, even if only to cavill and disagree; if you dig French movies in general, it's a must; an Adjani or Depardieu fan? then why haven't you seen it yet?; an artist? few films examine the creative impulse as profoundly and uncompromisingly as this...
I didn't like all of it, didn't agree with all of its conclusions, but couldn't help but be knocked out by the sheer power of the whole.

A terrific Biopic, a terrific French movie, a terrific period movie, a terrific movie, PERIOD.
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on 2 December 2011
Former cinematographer Bruno Nuytten`s directorial debut from 1988 which gained two Academy Award nominations in 1989, is based on the novel "Camille Claudel" by Reine-Marie Paris, grand-daughter of Camille Claudel`s brother Paul Claudel, which was adapted by Bruno Nuytten and Marylin Goldin. Isabelle Adjani won the Silver Berlin Bear at the 39th Berlin Film Festival in 1989 for her role in this film which tells the story about French sculptor Camille Claudel (1864-1943) and her relationship with impressionist sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) who became her teacher and lover during the early 19th century in Paris, France before the First World War.

With warm, colorful visuals, atmospheric music and detailed milieu depictions, this precisely filmed character-driven drama finely captures the era it portrays and the development of an historic figure who became a true artist. Isabelle Adjani`s interpretation of an ardent and self-disciplined young woman raised in a middle-class family who struggled with her art and with her love is remarkable, and so is Gérard Depardieu`s performance as the love of her life Auguste Rodin. Their acting is solely reason enough to see this interesting biographical period piece which centres on an unusually crafted love-story between two great artists.
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on 3 December 2009
Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu once again live up to their 'Heavyweights of French Cinema' reputation in this drama, based on actual events. I was not expecting Rodin to be quite like Gerard Depardieu, but it definitely worked. The chemistry between Adjani and Depardieu was electric.

It was a true story of the long affair between Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel. He was a celebrated and talented sculptor, and she was a sculptor in her own right and was also his student. They started an affair but she always wanted more, which he refused to give, and the consequence of that was her eventual insanity.

An emotional, brilliant film.
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on 5 December 2001
This is a film about passion and loyalty, focusing on Camille Claudel's true life, heartrending position on the wrong side of the equation. Those who know her lover, Rodin's, work, will appreciate the director's skill in replicating the sensuous, erotic quality of his scuptures in this beautiful film. As we watch a strong, magnificent creature destroyed by love, we question the nature of creativity, and more importantly, whether passion is of any worth at all.
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on 10 December 2008
My tutor suggested I watched this film. I thought that 3 hours of subtitles and a French language screenplay would be more than I could stand, well I couldn't be more wrong! It was amazing. The time flew, the subtitles became second nature and I was 'hooked'.

Brilliant interaction between Rodin and Claudel.

Certainly recommend to anyone who's interested in art, especially sculpture and the male/female divide, if it exists...
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Was it the closeness of death and disaster, of the distance from poverty to wealth that drove the febrile activity of 19th century artists or was it ever so? Camille, a skilled sculptor, spoiled by her father, disliked by her mother and admired by her brother falls in love with Auguste Rodin. The admiration of young women for the older artist is not something that easily translates to a man; but poor Camille had it in spades and her journey through passion, anger, rejection, obsession, paranoia and finally incarceration is magnificently rendered by Isabelle Adjani, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Claudel. The background is wonderfully established with hordes of real artists and Proustian characters populating this sad decline.
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on 18 October 2009
This is a film that reflects well mental and emotional obsessions that can make or destroy both the beautifull and beauty. The obsession with created images as well as the obsession with the images or sources of creation. The atmosphere and settings are totaly convincing and well researched. It's a good film for anyone interested in the difference between great art and artists and how destructive and ruthless that can be.
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Gerard Depardieu in the role of Camille's lover and mentor, Rodin, is brilliant but this peerless masterpiece of French cinema is dominated by a totally mesmerising performance in the title role by Isabelle Adjani. The fact that she did not win an Oscar as Best Actress for this film is one of cinema's greatest injustices and a sad reflection on the cynically self-serving nature of the entire Hollywood-biased Academy Awards process . A film sublime beyond words.
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on 4 September 2006
I recently saw this wonderful film on TV and am desperate to own the DVD, but can there be any sane reason why a movie about a great French artist, filmed in France, in the French language, and starring a largely French cast, is NOT available in Europe (Region 2) and is only available in Canada and the USA?
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I would really like to give this film 5 because the performances of Adjani and Depardieu are fully worthy of it, but to my mind, the film is flawed in other ways.

At nearly three hours there is no escaping that the film is too long. The first half or so dragged somewhat as the story plods through a linear narrative, spelling things out with an overlong explicitness. This is almost compensated for by the latter, more tragic part of the film, where the performances start to ignite, culminating in an ending that is inevitable but shocking all the same. It is to the film's credit that one is left rather stunned when the final credits roll, but this credit is mainly due to the principal actors.

While the first part of the film plods rather prosaically we suddenly reach a point where everything goes the other way. We are assailed with vignettes of encounters, cryptic comments and pointed significant moments which one is at first hard put to place in the narrative, until one has to admit that we no longer know what's going on anymore. Perhaps a second viewing would clear some of this up, but it became confusing in so many ways that it was hard not to feel that it was a problem with the film rather than a problem with attention.

Given the period, late 19th Century Paris, and given the central subject matter, Sculpture, one would be entitled to expect some interesting and perhaps sumptuous or dazzling photography and camerawork, but this does not transpire. Whilst there is sculpture all around throughout the film, at no point do we really get to linger on any of the works and contemplate them for their own beauty. It is definitely a film about people who happen to be sculptors rather than a film about sculpture. And there were various scenes of politely taking tea in petit bourgeois gardens, which gave scope for charming impressionist effects, but the lighting was actually handled in a flat, drab manner. A cinemagraphic opportunity lost.

My final criticism is the score which consists of a very limited palette of highly strung romantic string themes, which after nearly three hours become, for me anyway, quite maddening.

Despite this, the film is absolutely worth watching. Adjani's depiction of Claudel's mental collapse is viscerally compelling, leaving you a bundle of nerves at the finish. Depardieu's Rodin is authoritative but understated, his screen presence never losing it's magnetism. For these factors alone the film is a must see.
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