Film Scouts Reviews

"Les Voleurs"

by Lisa Nesselson

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May 19, 1996

Saturday's edition of 'France Soir' took the opportunity to run the front page headline "DENEUVE LESBIENNE". Those who know that Catherine Deneuve took to court an American magazine for gay women that decided to christen itself "Deneuve" are amused. Athough Deneuve's character, Marie, is definitely head over heels in love with an angry young woman named Juliette, the most important thing about Marie is not that she's carnally involved with one of her university students, but that she has reached a point in her life where she can surrender to overpowering emotion while making philosophical assessments about what's best for herself and her beloved. Her beloved is being sought by the police for her role in a car theft gone wrong. One of the cops on her trail is her other lover, (a sullen but convincing Daniel Auteuil), who started an affairwith Juliette purely in the interest of dissipating hormones but who subsequently fell hard. It's difficult to identify with any of Techine's characters -- they tend to be fundamentally unpleasant people and even the women seem to function as gay men might. But for those who don't mind spending a few hours with people trapped in their own skins and endeavoring to dodge the bullets of melodrama, "Le Voleurs" is a worthy, exceedingly French effort. Oh yeah -- Deneuve's pretty interesting when she plays a dyke, although I preferred her bisexual vampire conniving her way through the loneliness of eternity in "The Hunger".

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