Dir. Benoît Jacquot, 2015, 96 min
With Léa Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Clotilde Mollet, Vincent Lacoste
In French with English subtitles
Following the success of Farewell, My Queen, director Benoît Jacquot and Léa Seydoux reunited four years later on another period piece: the often revisited 1900 novel by Octave Mirbeau. Seydoux follows in the footsteps of Paulette Goddard and Jeanne Moreau as Célestine, a resentful young Parisian chambermaid exiled to the provinces where she immediately encounters the noxious iron rules and pettiness of her high-handed bourgeois mistress (Clotilde Mollet), the groping advances of Monsieur (Hervé Pierre), and a fascination with the brooding gardener Joseph (Vincent Lindon). Meanwhile, Jacquot—like Jean Renoir and Luis Buñuel before him—adapts the novel through the lens of contemporary France, finding current echoes in the sense of growing entitlement, social inequality, and anti-Semitism.
Nominated for Three César Awards