La Fleur du Mal

  • Film
  • Drama
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The extraordinary thing about this 2002 Chabrol is how easily it could pass for a 1968 Chabrol. Back then, the politically ambitious wife would have been played by Stéphane Audran rather than Baye, and the creepy husband by Michel Bouquet instead of Le Coq. The juveniles, children of their previous marriages, would have been represented, as here, by the decorative youngsters of the day. Otherwise the spectacle of the bourgeoisie demonstrating their hypocrisy in between lashings of haute cuisine, the sense of violence just under the surface, the deliberate, unshowy staging, the relish for unexpected detail (a fit of giggles during corpse disposal) are evidence of how stationary, for better, or worse, Chabrol's preoccupations and methods have remained. The plot device of having history repeat itself down the generations involves a ferocious amount of exposition, which Chabrol treats with impatience. You may need to take notes.

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Claude Chabrol
Screenwriter: Caroline Eliacheff, Louise L Lambrichs, Claude Chabrol
Cast: Bernard Le Coq
Mélanie Doutey
Thomas Chabrol
Suzanne Flon
Benoît Magimel
Nathalie Baye
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