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Mademoiselle Chambon

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Overview

Two adults struggle to avoid letting their erotic passion for one another guide them into infidelity in this subtly erotic, understated chamber drama from France. Vincent Lindon stars as Jean, a burly blue-collar mason who lives semi-contentedly with his wife, Anne-Marie Aure Atika, and son, Jérémy Arthur Le Houérou, in some unspecified provincial French town. Little passion exists in Jean's life -- until his path crisscrosses with that of Véronique Chambon Sandrine Kiberlain, his son's violin teacher. Completely...
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Overview

Two adults struggle to avoid letting their erotic passion for one another guide them into infidelity in this subtly erotic, understated chamber drama from France. Vincent Lindon stars as Jean, a burly blue-collar mason who lives semi-contentedly with his wife, Anne-Marie Aure Atika, and son, Jérémy Arthur Le Houérou, in some unspecified provincial French town. Little passion exists in Jean's life -- until his path crisscrosses with that of Véronique Chambon Sandrine Kiberlain, his son's violin teacher. Completely taken with the woman's cultural sophistication manifested through her love of classical music and intellectualism, Jean begins contemplating an affair with this virtual stranger, and offers to repair one of her windows as an excuse to be more proximate to her. Ultimately, suspense begins to build as the question lingers of whether the two will give in to their desires. Stéphane Brizé directed and authored the script, an adaptation of Eric Holder's novel.
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Special Features

Interview with director Stéphane Brizé; Deleted scenes, with introduction by film critic Stéphane Goudet; Trailers; Stills gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
Soft and gentle classical melodies cascade over the soundtrack of Stéphane Brizé's Mademoiselle Chambon, courtesy of composer Ange Ghinozzi. The score not only feels organically integrated into the material, but serves as a fitting commentary on its strengths. This is a drama as soft and understated as a minuet, as delicately constructed and as graceful as a sonata. The passions in it, however, run deep -- and the contrast between the slight exterior and the fierce eroticism at the movie's core is nothing short of riveting. Vincent Lindon stars as Jean, a burly, ruddy-faced French builder satisfactorily married to Anne-Marie Aure Atika; the two have a primary-school-aged son named Jérémy Arthur Le Houérou. Jean's life turns an unexpected corner when he encounters Véronique Chambon Sandrine Kiberlain, his son's unmarried violin teacher, and the overwhelming sexual magnetism that materializes between them deepens more fully when Véronique asks Jean to visit her flat and rebuild a window. This may sound pedestrian or hokey, and it easily could have become so in inept hands. But Brizé's acute observational eye and deliberate pacing triumph over any potential pitfalls. In lieu of having the characters act on the immediate and obvious pull that threatens to guide them into a torrid extramarital affair, the director girds every scene in the unspoken -- awkward silences, pregnant pauses, and long, lingering gazes. As an adaptation of Eric Holder's novel, this must have been an overwhelmingly spare, performance-reliant script, because the characters' wordless exchanges generate a vast majority of the insights. Supplemented by Brizé's shot choices he favors imperceptibly slow zoom-ins to the characters' faces, we see the desire building, and vying with the characters' shared reservations. The director also establishes, with perfect clarity, the nature of the attraction for each of the prospective lovers: the rugged, hirsute, and yet quiet masculinity that draws Véronique to Jean, and the cultural refinement and elegant sophistication that Jean perceives in Véronique, largely established through the classical music that she plays for him on her violin. The shots and dialogue that point to the sources of the mutual attraction are some of the most fascinating aspects of the movie, because they tie into issues of romantic perception. The lingering question of whether or not Véronique and Jean will actually consummate their affair generates a fair amount of tension and suspense, and this is especially true for Jean, for whom the potential fallout and loss are far greater. But sex itself eventually retains far less significance than the broader concerns involving the future of the couple's relationship, and what it will mean for Jean and his family should the lovers decide to proceed with their indiscretions. What the director builds up to is a single defining moment that finds Jean forced to make a split-second, potentially life-changing decision -- torn between his conflicting emotional obligations to two women, and realizing that whichever of the two paths he chooses, it will mean breaking someone's heart. That no-win decision arrives at the culmination of a long and difficult period of soul-searching undertaken by the character. This film should be lauded not only for the maturity and wisdom that it demonstrates in placing that rocky emotional and psychological process center stage, but also for the laconic elegance of its delivery.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/7/2010
  • UPC: 738329071721
  • Original Release: 2009
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lorber Films (Kino)
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 29,739

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sandrine Kiberlain Véronique Chambon
Vincent Lindon Jean
Aure Atika Anne-Marie
Jean-Marc Thibault The Father
Arthur Le Houérou Jérémy
Bruno Lochet Workmate Jean 1
Abdallah Moundy Workmate Jean 2
Anne Houdy Funeral Director
Michèle Goddet School Principal
Technical Credits
Stéphane Brizé Director, Screenwriter
Fabrice Chevrollier Production Manager
Frederic de Ravignan Sound/Sound Designer
Thierry Delor Sound/Sound Designer
Ann Dunsford Costumes/Costume Designer
Ange Ghinozzi Score Composer
Herve Guyader Sound/Sound Designer
Antoine Héberlé Cinematographer
Anne Klotz Editor
Jean-Louis Livi Co-producer, Producer
Emile Louis Asst. Director
Milena Poylo Producer
Gilles Sacuto Producer
Valerie Saradjian Set Decoration/Design
Florence Vignon Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

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