★★★★

La Truite

April 7th, 2011 by Wayward Muse

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. Read More…

Alias Betty

April 7th, 2011 by Wayward Muse

Though less ambiguous than many of Claude Miller’s films, it still bears the mark of his hand, in that he never takes you to the obvious places—good and evil is explored with Miller’s characteristic subtlety. This film is not about the “letter of the law” but the spirit of what is somehow “right.” We sympathize with the protagonist, even though she is clearly breaking the law. We may hold high-minded ideals about never “taking the law into our own hands,” but the film appeals to our deeper sense of righteousness that longs for things to somehow work out right. Read More…

The Collector

April 7th, 2011 by Wayward Muse

I’m a huge fan of Terence Stamp, and rather fond of Samantha Eggar, who won a Golden Globe and got an Oscar nomination for this film, so I was excited to watch it. It did not disappoint! I’m also a fan of John Fowles’ The Collector, and felt the movie stayed very true to the book. I can’t say the movie is really scary by today’s standards, though, even though the book is. This may indeed have been an influence on modern thrillers like Silence of the Lambs, but it’s no Psycho! What it is, is a really fascinating psychological study of a rather milquetoast, possibly slightly autistic, little man who can only relate to the world at a distance. Read More…

La Vie Promise

April 5th, 2011 by Wayward Muse

This film is the story of a woman suffering from severe mental illness, possibly exacerbated by drug-addiction. Whether or not she finds anything approaching redemption or healing at the end of her Odyssey depends totally on how much the viewer is willing to suspend reason and believe fully in the power of love to heal all. As her present and her past unfold, we realize she has been in and out of a mental health institution, possibly more than once, and has been loved deeply by a husband who was probably helpless before her mental illness, though he tried his best. Read More…

Suspicious River

December 18th, 2010 by Wayward Muse

A perfect example of “traumatic reenactment,” Suspicious River might confuse those who have no familiarity with the concept, but it is not far-fetched. The Netflix synopsis is uncharacteristically accurate and complete. What is left for the viewer to discover is the story-behind-the story. Read More…

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