The Duchess of Langeais

Director: Jacques Rivette
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 2.0

A general with blue balls (Guillaume Depardieu, rest in peace) fancies a married cocktease (Jeanne Balibar) but she's worried about her reputation and resists his advances; when she's finally smitten (due to all the attention - it's hard to resist) he turns cold on her and dismisses her, which leads her to run to a cloister and die (so much for women being man's equal). For a man of Rivette's talent - and I am admittedly a fan - this is exceptionally flat and not much of a challenge for him (or even the audience): he adheres to the formalist aesthetic and sleepwalks through the rather one-dimensional - and not exactly woman-friendly - Balzac story. He's begging her to go, he's making her stay: why does he hurt her so bad? Does she stand in his way or is she the best thing he's had? No promises! Plenty of demands! Love is a battlefield!