The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea

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Moreau is growing old disgracefully - and clearly enjoying every minute of it. That famously haughty countenance is somewhat weather-beaten now, but the imperious demeanour is still very much intact. As inveterate con-artist and incorrigible jewel thief Lady M, Moreau combines instinctive class with learned disdain for social convention, elegant diction with a singularly vituperative tongue, rampant egoism with painful infirmity. She enjoys challenging the conceits of the world, she says. Heynemann's mainstream comedy has surprisingly dark undercurrents - it's a caper movie which dares to ebb from time to time. Given her head, Moreau wrings every drop of pathos, pride and passion from the proceedings. Serrault just about holds up his end as her antiquated accomplice Pompilius, but Thuillier is out of his depth as the bronzed toyboy she adopts as her dauphin. Fleetingly, Moreau makes you think of an earlier ménage-à-trois, when she consorted with Jules and Jim so happily. But things are more complicated in old age and neither man is really a match for her.

By: TCh

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