Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic 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. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    The first masterpiece of 2008 -- at least by American release date standards -- the latest film from master French director Jacques Rivette is a masterful, multilayered, sometimes enigmatic work of dark irony, an assured tragicomedy of manners and more.
  3. 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.
  4. Duchess of Langeais seems to me a nearly impeccable work of art -- beautiful, true, profound.
  5. 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.
  6. A highbrow chick flick that made me feel older, in a good way.
  7. 83
    The Duchess of Langeais is a romantic dance of death.
  8. 83
    Though not exactly a "comedy" of manners, since it's more melancholy than funny, The Duchess Of Langeais is very much concerned with how the rules of social etiquette interfere with raw human need.

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