Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Girl Cut in Two (FRENCH)

(La Fillee Coupee en Deux)
Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Weathergirl Forecasts Stormy Love Triangle in Romance Drama from Claude Chabrol

Gabrielle (Ludivine Sagnier) is a television weathergirl in France whose star is rapidly rising. Afterall, the popular blonde-of-the-moment has just landed a plum position as host of her own talk show called “Icing on the Cake.”
Unfortunately, her career takes a backseat to her love life soon after she crosses paths with the dashing Charles Saint-Denis (Francois Berleand), a famous novelist she meets when he comes to the station as a guest to plug his latest best seller. What she doesn’t know is that although he’s been married for over 25 years, his long-suffering wife (Valeria Cavalli) has learned to put up with her philandering husband’s flagrant womanizing.
Consequently, Gabrielle allows herself to fall under the aging playboy’s spell, unaware that she means no more to him than another notch on his belt. And after a whirlwind romance during which she’s wined and dined, the na├»ve newscaster is ill-prepared to be seduced and abandoned. So, she’s shocked to find herself soon dumped summarily by the cruel player, who is heartless enough to change the locks on the pied-a-terre to which he’d given her a key.
Fortunately, Gabrielle has an ardent admirer (Benoit Magimel) waiting in the wings in Paul Gaudens, and he just happens to be not only much younger than Charles but also the filthy rich heir to an industrial fortune. Strategizing, the jilted jet-setter starts entertaining the advances of Mr. Moneybags just to make her ex jealous, and when that doesn’t work she escalates matters by accepting his marriage proposal.
The way Gabrielle figures it, she’ll still be able to sleep with her true love, Charles, and now they will both be cheating. What she forgot to factor in was the possibility that Paul’s finding out might lead to a crime of passion.
So, unfolds A Girl Cut in Two, the latest offering from the legendary
Claude Chabrol, a master talespinner who hasn’t lost anything off his fastball at the age of 78. This intriguing character study relies on the trademarks of the French romance genre, namely, dialogue, coupling, smoking, uncoupling followed by more of the same.
An ill-fated love triangle with an alarming twist leading to a sobering message for shameless gold-diggers and suave Casanovas alike.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
In French with subtitles.
Running time: 115 minutes
Studio: IFC Films

To see a trailer of A Girl Cut in Two, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj5PaLxpwgA

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