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Fleur du Mal
     

La Fleur du Mal

Director: Claude Chabrol

Cast: Nathalie Baye, Benoît Magimel, Suzanne Flon

 

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Co-written by Caroline Eliacheff, Claude Chabrol's La Fleur Du Mal (The Flower of Evil) concerns three generations of the bourgeois Charpin-Vasseur family. The story opens in the present day with a murder occurring during a local election and son Francois (Benoit Magimel) returning home to Bordeaux after four years in the U.S. His father Gerard (Bernard

Overview

Co-written by Caroline Eliacheff, Claude Chabrol's La Fleur Du Mal (The Flower of Evil) concerns three generations of the bourgeois Charpin-Vasseur family. The story opens in the present day with a murder occurring during a local election and son Francois (Benoit Magimel) returning home to Bordeaux after four years in the U.S. His father Gerard (Bernard Le Coq) is a suave and successful pharmaceutical manufacturer, while his stepmother Anne (Nathalie Baye) is in the process of running for local office. Francois has long harbored a strong interest in Anne's daughter, psychology student Michele (Melanie Doutey), and - despite the fact that they are related in various ways - they begin a torrid affair. Then, right before election night, a letter appears, revealing negative information about the family's past concerning the elderly Aunt Line's (Suzanne Flon) connection to a crime dating back to WWII. La Fleur Du Mal was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2003 Berlin International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Despite its florid title, The Flower of Evil is one of Claude Chabrol's more tepid inquiries into the dark underside of bourgeois life. While the film is nicely shot, appealingly acted, and fairly entertaining, it doesn't have the taut structure and pervasive sense of dread that informs Chabrol's best work. The cast is good, with Benoît Magimel (of The Piano Teacher) and Mélanie Doutey (a big-eyed waif in the manner of Audrey Tautou) charming and sexy as romantically entangled step-siblings, and Suzanne Flon drolly cantankerous as their adorably prickly great aunt. Nathalie Baye brings some humanity to her role as a capricious local politician, but Bernard Le Coq is rather one-note as her sleazy husband. The real problem with the film is the script, by Chabrol, Louise L. Lambrichs, and Caroline Eliacheff (who had a more fruitful collaboration with the director on 1995's La Cérémonie). The revelations in the film are heavily weighted toward a long, late monologue delivered by Flon, hardly the most exciting climax for a murder mystery. Beyond that, the story offers a brief, but fairly interesting, look at local French politics. The Flower of Evil is passably entertaining, thanks in large part to the director's skill with the camera, and his actors' skill in bringing these sketchily written characters to life.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/2004
UPC:
0031398119647
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:44:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nathalie Baye Anne
Benoît Magimel Francois
Suzanne Flon Aunt Line
Bernard Le Coq Gerard
Mélanie Doutey Michele
Thomas Chabrol Matthieu
Didier Benureau Brissot
Françoise Bertin Therese
Yvon Crenn Yves Pouet
Michele Dascain Marthe
François Maistre Jules
Juliette Meyniac Helene
Dominique Pivain Dominique

Technical Credits
Claude Chabrol Director,Screenwriter
Francoise Benoit-Fresco Production Designer
Matthieu Chabrol Score Composer
Mic Cheminal Costumes/Costume Designer
Yvon Crenn Executive Producer
Caroline Eliacheff Original Story,Screenwriter
Monique Fardoulis Editor
Marin Karmitz Producer
Louise L. Lambrichs Original Story,Screenwriter
Thierry Lebon Sound/Sound Designer
Pierre Lenoir Sound/Sound Designer
Cecile Maistre Asst. Director
Eduardo Serra Cinematographer

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