Click herDirector Claude Miller’s last film before his sad death in 2012 is a great adaptation of the novel by Nobel Prize winner Francois Mauriac.Audrey Tautou in the title role is magnificent as the free-spirited Frenchwoman, whose life is slowly poisoned by the expectations of the Catholic landed gentry on the 1928 Atlantic Coast.
Tautou rose to international fame as the lovely Amelie and perhaps forever will be for many the charming Parisian do-gooder – best she has shown with roles in ‘Coco Before Chanel’ and ‘Priceless’ a great range and subtlety. Here she gives an emotionally distant yet perfectly nuanced performance as the conflicted and melancholy young woman – a sort of a modern day Anna Karenina.
The film excels in its stylistic musings too as periodically we see flashes of Therese’s inner thoughts; imaginary sequences where she confronts her husband with her true feelings.
The portrait of a provincial matriarchal family is masterminded by the mother Madame Desqueyroux and Aunt Clara who both create the atmosphere of an emotional prison where the shackles are manufactured by local convention and tradition.
Thérèse Desqueyroux is a beautifully filmed portrayal of provincial France in the 1920s.