I read A.O. Scott’s review in the Times. Lots to pick from today. Its raining in NYC and a perfect movie day. So with a bit of hesitation I choose this one. Scott’s a reputable reviewer, right? Story is of a long suffering woman in mid 19th century France. Born in aristocracy, as stifling as that can be for a woman, with marriage as the only means of support, she finds a suitable suitor, marries and has a child. End of good times.
He cheats. More than once with disasterous results. She’s left with the child and her father’s support. Too bad it was the maid he cheated with as our heroine looses her confidant, as well. Son grows up and leaves to go to England to make his fortune.
Nope. He’s a dependent ne’er do well who only writes her with another story about needing money.
The film focuses a lot of natural beauty with endless shots of leaves and flowers and the changing seasons. But back to where AO Scott and I part roads. He says the movie “moves calmly and deliberately and never feels slow.” Maybe for him, if you like pauses of silence that feel longer and slower than grass growing. I’m thinking if she stares out one more window I am going to scream, right here in the theatre. It was way to slow and frankly I thought she wasn’t a good mother, and DO SOMETHING, just don’t pine and pine and pine.
You would think a reviewer might caution you that if you don’t identify at all with this character portrayal, this might be tough slogging. My thought is the main woman although a gentle soul, needed some Prozac, and AO Scott might need a little less.