Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Bridesmaid (2004, Claude Chabrol)

Chabrol's late-period filmography has become as tightly-focused- some might say as narrow- as Ozu's did near the end of his life, but if anything Chabrol's only gotten more perverse, and thank goodness for that. This is probably his best since LA CEREMONIE, another Ruth Rendell adaptation. What I dug most about THE BRIDESMAID was the way Senta treated killing much like most "good girls" treat sex- as a sign of trust, a giving of oneself for another (love the payoff of this during the final sequence). As usual with Chabrol, he only provides the slightest hint of psychoanalysis, and just as typical is that it doesn't explain nearly as much as we hope and/or fear. Also, Laura Smet- yowza. Chabrol may be the most reliable filmmaker nowadays for the sheer variety of smokin' young ladies in his movies, but she's really something else. It's not that she's alternately hot and scary- it's that she's often both at the same time. Her face is really marvelous too- sometimes hard, sometimes soft, sometimes Eurasian, sometimes vaguely extraterrestrial. I have no idea what kind of range she has beyond this film, but I'll be damned if she wasn't perfect for this one. Rating: 7 out of 10.

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