Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ludivine Sagnier, Benoît Magimel, François Berléand, Mathilda May, Caroline Sihol, Marie Bunel, Valéria Cavalli
Written by: Claude Chabrol, Cécile Maistre
Directed by: Claude Chabrol
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 115
Date: 03/18/2013

A Girl Cut in Two (2008)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Snow Blind

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Claude Chabrol's newest foray into darkness and bad behavior emerges as less of a murder or suspense story and more of a black comedy. Some will claim it's his best movie in years, and others will wonder what happened to the old Chabrol, but truthfully, he almost always delivers the same high-quality work (which is probably why he seems neglected). Ludivine Sagnier (Swimming Pool) stars as Gabrielle Snow, a beautiful television weather girl. She falls for the older, successful, but married author Charles Saint-Denis (François Berléand). At the same time, a snotty young millionaire, Paul André Claude Gaudens (Benoît Magimel), begins relentlessly pursuing her. In her work, Gabrielle is an expert at playing games and getting herself promoted, but she can't seem to get a handle on this romantic tangle; each time Charles turns cold and dumps her, she winds up hanging out with Paul. Paul turns petulant, and she runs back to Charles. Chabrol keeps this emotional ping-pong going with his usual expertise. The strong characters show at least two sides, slyly seducing one another, but selfishly scheming behind everyone else's back. Chabrol moves the story ahead with a deceptively deft combination of humor and suspense, up until the surprising, bizarre and symbolically appropriate ending.

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