Combustible Celluloid
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With: Fabienne Babe, Lucas Belvaux, Sandra Montaigu, Alice de Poncheville, Olivier Cruveiller, Philippe Morier-Genoud, Olivier Torres, Marie Jaoul, Louis de Menthon, Jacques Deleuze, Joseph Schilinger
Written by: Pascal Bonitzer, Suzanne Schiffman, Jacques Rivette, based on the novel by Emily Brontë
Directed by: Jacques Rivette
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 130
Date: 10/09/1985

Wuthering Heights (1985)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Bucking Bronte

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Jacques Rivette takes on Emily Bronte's classic novel Wuthering Heights (1985, Image Entertainment, $24.99) with mixed results. On the plus side, he allows Catherine (Fabienne Babe) to be beautiful, petulant, demanding and stubborn instead of painting her as a perfect innocent. Heathcliff (called "Roch" in the credits and "Roc" in the subtitles), played by Lucas Belvaux, comes across as a dumb savage, but not quite dangerous, and poor Catherine's husband can barely keep up, much less provide any real romantic challenge. Rivette's slow pace is always lovely but fails to capture the novel's undiluted passion. It's the shortest of the seven Rivettes I've seen (126 minutes), but feels the longest.

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