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Gervaise

Director:  René Clément
Year Released:  1956
Rating:  2.0

Bad Decisions: Zola Style. Poor gimp woman Gervaise (Maria Schell) just wants to start her own laundry business, but she has no start-up funds, everyone around her is a parasite and/or scoundrel and she has self-esteem issues. It's a Battered Woman movie in every sense: both of her main lovers are scum - one is a womanizer, the other is a filthy drunk - while the only 'decent' male (arguably the most decent person in the movie) is a political rabble-rouser whom she destroys her chances with because of her self-destructiveness. Some inexplicably find this to be a 'feminist' story, though it's really about victimhood, and it ends with scene-mashing hysteria.

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