Blue Beard


Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    The most impressive aspect of Breillat’s feature is that it agitates like the best fairy tales, seducing us with otherworldliness before sticking the knife in and permanently inscribing the moral.
  2. Ms. Breillat narrates the fairy tale three ways: in the period story, through the little girls and, finally, through the overall film. None are fully satisfying, but together they offer a sharp, knowing gloss on how our stories define who we were and who we become.
  3. 83
    As with Breillat’s 2007 period piece "The Last Mistress," Bluebeard is subdued and unadorned, almost plain.
  4. Breillat directs with her characteristic flair for getting under the skin of her protagonists while taking a particular pleasure examining sisterly bonds and feminist concerns within the context of a fairy tale.
  5. 80
    Psychologically rich, unobtrusively minimalist, at once admirably straightforward and slyly comic, Catherine Breillat's Bluebeard is a lucid retelling and simultaneous explanation of Charles Perrault's nastiest, most un-Disneyfiable nursery story.
  6. 80
    Breillat plumbs the power of fairy tales to enchant, disturb, warn and teach.
  7. 75
    Bluebeard revisits themes often found in Breillat's films -- sibling rivalry, pedophilia, gender conflict -- but it remains fresh and new.
  8. 70
    This offbeat but compelling take on the tale, arguably the first serial-killer yarn, emphasizes sisterly bonds but still gets to the original story's heart of mysterious darkness with impressive results.
  9. 63
    Breillat’s film can seem at times like a far less opaque version of another story set in the 17th century about sex and power: Peter Greenaway’s “The Draughtman’s Contract.’’
  10. Stylized, pure cinematic retelling of this ancient tale of misogyny will enchant some and bore others.
  11. 50
    It's too convoluted by half, and turns what ought to be an idiosyncratic, delightful folktale-film into a baffling personal psychodrama with a nasty sting in its tale. Still, Breillat wouldn't be Breillat if she made movies that were easy to like, or to get your head around.
  12. Catherine Breillat, the French director of "Fat Girl", blends victim feminism with the threat of slasher violence in this arid ''deconstruction'' of Bluebeard, the wife killer of legend.

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