french films > The Girl Cut in Two

The Girl Cut in Two

La Fille Coupée en Deux

The Girl Cut in Two

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Ludivine Sagnier, François Berléand, Benoît Magimel

year: 2007

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Claude Chabrol

runtime: 115

Chabrol's wicked and beautifully realized La Fille coupée en deux is an arch of comedy of sex, greed and power. Chabrol has always revelled in the human foibles of his deeply flawed but eminently recognizable characters and here he vises to the occasion to create a super by caustic tale of – as the title describes her – a girl cut in two. Perky weather girl Gabrielle (Ludivine Sagnier, Swimming Pool) is forced to choose between the romantic attentions of Charles, a famous author (who finds her a distraction from his impressive wife and equally sensual editor) and Paul, the supercilious playboy heir of a pharmaceuticals fortune (who approaches her with the obsessive intent of a collector). What's a girl to do? Gabrielle's choice is unexpected, and Chabrol takes supreme delight in torturing his audience (just like the magician who saws his girl in two) with the knowledge that we cannot redirect the plot's stylish sleight-of-hand. Funny, labyrinthine and with Chabrol's trademark hints of darker impulses, this film is a treat for new and enduring fans and proof that the master has lost none of his youthful energy.

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