Film Scouts Reviews

"The Ceremony"

by Henri Béhar

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A smart, fashionable, well-heeled French family living in a gorgeous country house are looking for a new housekeeper. The lady of the house, (wonderfully) played by Jacqueline Bisset, hires an enigmatic, quiet, but apparently highly efficient young woman, Sophie (Sandrine Bonnaire). Everyone is happy with her: she cleans, she cooks, she doesn't type (but that's another, but relevant, matter). Wandering into the village, Bonnaire meets the outspoken, fiesty village postmistress, energetically played by Isabelle Huppert. They become bosom buddies and will soon run the show. At gun point. The film is a gem. Superbly acted by Huppert and Bonnaire (you understand why the Venice jury deemed their peformances "inseparable"), but also by Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Virginie Ledoyen and Valentin Merlet, it is deceptively simple, but in fact as diabolically twisted, psychologically, as actionner "The Usual Suspects". Set to Mozart's "Don Giovanni", the transformation of Huppert and Bonnaire into Bonnie and Bonnie is both horrifying and hilarious. You don't know whether you want to laugh or choke, but you sure know you want to applaud. Don't miss it when it comes out.

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