La Truite

Isabelle Huppert and Jeanne Moreau fans will be amply rewarded as both give delightfully nuanced performances.

April 7th, 2011 by Wayward Muse
Rating: Genres: Featured Actors: Actors: Alexis Smith, Craig Stevens, Daniel Olbrychski, Isao Yamagata, Jacques Spiesser, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Jeanne Moreau, Lisette Malidor, Roland Bertin, Ruggero Raimondi Featured Directors: Languages:
La Truite

This is a rather odd character-driven movie that will appeal to a rather limited audience. This film could almost be considered feminist, but it isn’t really. It is primarily the story of Frédérique, played by Huppert, a young woman who, utterly disgusted by her father and his friend’s constant womanizing, becomes determined to get as much from men as possible, without giving anything in return. The movie is largely about watching her do just this, with a variety of men.

The only man that Frédérique actually appears to have real human feelings for is her husband, who is at least bi-sexual, and probably gay. He is a perfect partner for a woman who is uninterested in having sex (at least with men). The ending is very ambiguous; so much so that most viewers will probably hate it. After tragedy strikes, Frédérique finally fully commits herself to the relationship with her husband. My first take on this was that the tragedy woke her up to what an ultimately empty and unrewarding existence she was living, but it is possible instead, that it depicts a woman who imprisons herself in a traditional marriage: supporting, and propping up her husband’s success in the classic way that “good wives” have been supposed to do for ages, not because she sincerely loves him, but in order to stay true to her spiteful promise to take without giving. The irony is that she might just as easily have used her networking and other skills to run the business herself; she was raised the very capable daughter of a trout farmer; and her husband didn’t have a trout business (or any other kind of business without her wheeling and dealing) until she created the contacts for it. Even with the sexism of the times, she could have used her desirability to get what she wanted. Instead, perhaps, she uses it to create her own trap. Or maybe not, it is indeed ambiguous.

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