Thérèse Desqueyroux

Film, Drama
Thérèse Desqueyroux

There’s something almost annoyingly tasteful about this adaptation of the 1927 French novel by François Mauriac. It’s too classy and restrained to unlock the emotions of husband-poisoner Thérèse, played here by Audrey Tautou. Thérèse is one of literature’s feisty females – born without the normal gene. (See also Anne Shirley in ‘Anne of Green Gables’, and Emma Bovary.) She thinks too much, reads too much and smokes like a chimney. Her family owns half the forests around Bordeaux. And in the tradition of old money, Thérèse is married off like a thoroughbred racehorse to the neighbouring landowner’s son – thick-as-a-plank Bernard (Gilles Lellouche).

Thérèse thinks marriage will cure her of the thoughts racing round her head. But after a few years she’s reaching for the arsenic. Tautou gives a self-possessed, complex performance as Thérèse – we sense a dam-burst of rage and boredom behind her mask. Otherwise, Claude Miller’s final film (he died shortly after making it) is a tad on the stiff side.

By: Cath Clarke


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday June 7 2013
Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Claude Miller
Cast: Audrey Tautou
Gilles Lellouche
Anaïs Demoustier
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