Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: Antoinette is the Duchess of Langeais, a married coquette who frequents the most extravagant balls in 1820s Paris during the Restoration, when hypocrisy and vanity reign. From the moment of the handsome general Armand de Montriveau's first meeting with her, he realized it was true love. Flattered by his attentions, the alluring Antoinette orchestrates a calculating game of seduction, but she repeatedly refuses Montriveau. Despite his sincere romantic declarations, Montriveau's passion remains unfulfilled. When the humiliated Montriveau eventually seeks his revenge, Antoinette's love awakens. But it may well be too late for the star-crossed lovers. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. The movie's satisfactions are subtle, but they run deep, and there are many.
  2. 100
    Jacques Rivette has brought the Balzac short story to screen as a superb chamber drama. His is a graceful work of austerity and formality that perfectly captures the chaos of repressed emotions that see beneath the rigid conventions of aristocratic society.
  3. Rivette's slow-moving but seamless study of the rituals of courtship has a disarming grace, even as its downcast hero, Depardieu's Gen. Armand de Montriveau, limps around stiffly.
  4. 70
    The Duchess is enragingly elusive and possibly mad; the General is very direct and also possibly mad.
  5. 70
    The picture has an unsettling, haunting quality that I haven't been able to shake.
  6. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    70
    Rivette is teasing his way, thinking afresh, playing a game but tweaking its rules, telling a story, but only sort of--making, in short, not simply a movie, but that ineffable magic called cinema.
  7. 38
    Jacques Rivette's film is full of painstaking historical detail, but the behavior of the two nonlovers is mired in inaction and emotionally incomprehensible.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

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