Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Patrice Chéreau directs this stunning adaptation of the short story "The Return" by Joseph Conrad. Recreating turn-of-the-century France with superb attention to detail, Chéreau casts an unrelenting gaze on the marital breakdown that overwhelms a middle-aged bourgeois couple, played with chilling precision by Isabelle Huppert and Pascal Greggory. (IFC First Take) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. If all this potent drama recalls Bergman, the beautifully articulated staging and setting suggest that master of operatic social-sexual drama, Luchino Visconti ("The Leopard").
  2. Together with his extraordinary performers, Mr. Chéreau breathes life into characters who long ago set a course for death.
  3. 90
    A haunting and riveting work, unlike anything else you can see at the movies and as such an explicit challenge to the unambitious, anesthetic character of most contemporary cinema. But is it easy, or delightful, or fun? It is not.
  4. The film's impact has a lot to do with Fabio Vacchi's original score, which is both plaintive and coldly modernist, with echoes of Charles Ives.
  5. 70
    Gabrielle, a quietly insidious tale of domestic warfare that makes the protagonists of Bergman's "Scenes From a Marriage" look like pussycats, will exasperate and satisfy in roughly equal measure.
  6. So much of this adaptation is engrossing that the script's additions are jarring.
  7. 50
    A chilly, pretentious and talky drama.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Jan 22, 2012
    A must see for fans of the late star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand Andy Whitfield. The dark atmosphere is truly handled very well and works together with great acting to support this awesome story. Expand
  2. ChristinaC.
    Sep 17, 2006
    Fantastic film, especially for Huppert fans. She is at her strongest and the film is a devastatingly real depiction of marriage gone wrong. Kept me at the edge of my seat. Expand
  3. Enrique
    Oct 24, 2006
    Excellent adaptation of Conrad's story. Superb performances by Huppert, Greggory and the suporting cast. One of Chereau's best films so far. Expand
  4. RobertI.
    Jul 21, 2006
    Despite the whip-smart leads and the panache of hotel particulier on the Parc Monceau, we ultimately don't care about these tortured souls because we do not know them. Stylish and cold as ice. Expand
  5. MegaW.
    Jul 26, 2006
    Not bad, but the air was too rich, too many long glances at details to the point of overload; here it becomes rather much. Should have moved faster instead of lingering tortuously slow on some elements- much as I appreciate the truths shown in the film and the wisdom it tries to impart, it felt leaden and dreary, almost an inescapable ruinous fate of the otherwise privledged. Good performances, the lead actress is the best thing to watch in the whole film, beautiful backdrops and costumes, oh, and a bit of brief nudity that for once is completely appropriate with the plot. The music was getting to me after awhile, too loud and too heavy handed, as opposed to a subtle and skillful touch; I think the audience could get the point without the distractingly overdone score. Decent film, but could have skipped it or waited for the dvd. Will put all but the most devoted indie-French film audience close to sleep. Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Jul 31, 2006
    At least 10 couples walked out on this movie. We hung in there, but were sorry. Some short stories simply work better on the page than on the screen.
  7. MarcK.
    Feb 9, 2007
    I rented this because of the high critical marks it received. But why? Although sumptuous to look at, slow, uninteresting, and pointless.