User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 103
  2. Negative: 27 out of 103

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  1. Dec 7, 2014
    0
    The discussion about Bresson has already been laid out between his fans who “get it” and the minority –to which I belong - within the minority of cinema viewers who actually care about art cinema, or Bresson for that matter, that hate Bresson with a passion. I hate Bresson for the same reasons others hate him: he makes films not to be enjoyed but to be endured, while forcing his worldviewThe discussion about Bresson has already been laid out between his fans who “get it” and the minority –to which I belong - within the minority of cinema viewers who actually care about art cinema, or Bresson for that matter, that hate Bresson with a passion. I hate Bresson for the same reasons others hate him: he makes films not to be enjoyed but to be endured, while forcing his worldview upon you. This, coming from a person who appreciates Bergman, Bunuel, Dreyer, Ozu and Godard, and who liked Jeanne Dillman and the Turin Horse. I can safely say Bresson is the only world wide acclaimed artistic director I can’t appreciate in any way. So he defies convention and tells the truth, great, if it were true, since he necessarily selects the facts to be presented in order to advance his view, rejects any moments of joy or pleasure, and presents a quite unreal world, like for example Gerard trashing the town bar while the other patrons keep dancing in Balthazar. So you show a donkey been beaten and that is considered moving, well, as others have pointed out, I can place a camera in front of beaten or abused animals and be moving, too.So he breaks convention, excellent, if it translates into something interesting. Like someone else said, watch “Empire” by Warhol if you want to see a film breaking conventions. Hell, watch Jeanne Dillman, a film I very much enjoyed even with its length, dark view and non drama. So he rejects acting and casts non-professionals to deliver their lines looking at the floor, outstanding, if in some way I could understand the significance of this method. I’ve seen Balthazar twice, the second time in order to see if I had missed something, but no, there it was again, this extremely dry, pessimistic world, this uncomfortable, humorless and painful viewing experience, with nothing to pique your interest or stimulate your brain except that life is hell and then you die. Quite simply, Bresson bores me while annoying me to death. His movies are, like someone else said, “sucker punch(es) to the gut”. Expand
  2. Dec 2, 2014
    5
    I read the critics reviews and couldn't wait to see this film. I cannot believe that I was watching the same film that had been so loved by all the critics.... 100/100??

    This is a drab and rather boring film, the acting is poor throughout, the story-line is broken and disjointed and I really found it difficult to persevere to the end of this film without falling asleep. I can only
    I read the critics reviews and couldn't wait to see this film. I cannot believe that I was watching the same film that had been so loved by all the critics.... 100/100??

    This is a drab and rather boring film, the acting is poor throughout, the story-line is broken and disjointed and I really found it difficult to persevere to the end of this film without falling asleep. I can only imagine that the critics are rating this movie based upon the genre as an art-house movie, art but with few other redeeming qualities. There are some decent elements to this, but I really struggle to give it better than an average rating.
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  3. Oct 30, 2014
    10
    Balthazar is one of the best movies existing to date !!!! It is so well done produced,fantastic dialogue,the best story in movie (my opinion) do date and many more
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    0
    The donkey was a whore....................................................................................................................................................
  5. Dec 28, 2013
    10
    baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  6. Aug 6, 2013
    8
    Critics sometimes with a zeal bind together in pact of unquestioned praise toward a film, Au Hasard Balthazar is a very good film, but just because its of a certain age, shot in black & white and made by a french director does not make it a 10. 8 to 8.5 would be more accurate. The film scenes are often very compact yet still somehow not taught, the pausing shots and the pointed lingeringCritics sometimes with a zeal bind together in pact of unquestioned praise toward a film, Au Hasard Balthazar is a very good film, but just because its of a certain age, shot in black & white and made by a french director does not make it a 10. 8 to 8.5 would be more accurate. The film scenes are often very compact yet still somehow not taught, the pausing shots and the pointed lingering gazes the characters endlessly offer up, seem in this day and age a little heavy handed and serve to irritate more than they succeed in forcing contemplation, also I think some of the actors used though good, seem not of the first order of the best of french acting in this era, some characters seem a little stilted and artificially shallow in presentation Marie endlessly abused, Gerard consistently mean and sadist, the father soppy stern and prideful etc etc. its as though all seems to have been extracted from the general play of realistic dialog, except for the miserable moments.

    But still make no mistake this a great film, I just think is been fatly fed of the gilding of ego'd critics, to keen to demonstrate their intellect through protestation-al love of french art house cinema, for viewing i would advise being ready to match pace with the film to get the best out of it and not desire any jollity or resolution from the viewing. If the purpose of the cinema is to unrealistically depress then I would say it succeeds. some elements of plot movement and dialog are stilted or often merely implied, leading the viewer to interpret what has occurred in the gaps, this can be viewed as just plain awkward or a way of attempting to encapsulate through implication more than the film actually contains.

    Though this film uses the donkey centrally to link its characters, its a rather vile portrayal of the intrigue of drab french rural life in a small village, and how the unredeeming characters attempt to use each other, just as the donkey is used, maries sad path in this film has been deliberately calibrated to irritate the decency inherent in the viewer, in a way that seems contrived and very depressing with implied, if off camera rape, it seems as if all the characters have been engineered to agrravate as there is too much shade and not enough light, given that none of the characters seem to get or give a break to each other, in the relentless sadness of it all, but the general jist is that for all that we think we might gain for ourselves there is a lacking in life, that leads us in the end even with free will, often to be no happier in life than the seemingly martyred silent donkey in the field.
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  7. May 4, 2013
    5
    It has some compelling scenes. It also has some pretty sloppy film-making; though on the flip-side, it's enjoyable to watch what can be accomplished on a low budget. I'm not sure I'm convinced that reflections on the pain that life can serve are more valuable than celebrations of the joy that can be found. It's interesting, but to my mind, not great.
  8. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    There is no hope in this movie, the only thing Bresson offered to us is the truth of life by providing the devastating reality in the most honest way. There was not a single existence of any form of "babblings" in this film but only the "picture" to express one significant message of how uncontrollable life could possibly be--in the end nothing can stop that process and -the world willThere is no hope in this movie, the only thing Bresson offered to us is the truth of life by providing the devastating reality in the most honest way. There was not a single existence of any form of "babblings" in this film but only the "picture" to express one significant message of how uncontrollable life could possibly be--in the end nothing can stop that process and -the world will treat us whatever it treats, undeniably. It's a revolutionary film that is highly capable of allowing the viewers to experience another whole different aspect or sense of "life" that they might never experience before. The Finest French Phenomenon Film. Expand
  9. Oct 3, 2011
    0
    Simply disliked it, however, everyone say itervs just awesome, My wife and I don't think so, I felt asleep, however, I must say that the acting and the effects are... good... I think so... or maybe bad.
  10. Sep 30, 2010
    10
    A film that a sum of people would be turned off by, Balthazar touches the heart instantly after the 3 minute mark as it tells a tale about the life of a donkey suffering a powerful experience you don't want to miss.
Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    100
    This great film, made with uncompromising honesty and devastating reality, is, according to Jean-Luc Godard, "the world in an hour and a half."
  2. 100
    To cut to the chase, Robert Bresson's heart-breaking and magnificent Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) -- the story of a donkey's life and death in rural France -- is the supreme masterpiece by one of the greatest of 20th-century filmmakers.
  3. If in Bresson's films nothing ever seems out of place or superfluous it's because he strove to find the essential truth of the image. Not an image or sound is wasted -- or offered up in self-glorification -- and from such seeming simplicity there arises a world of feeling.