HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Midwife, The Her Life To Live
Year: 2017
Director: Martin Provost
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet, Quentin Dolmaire, Mylène Demongeot, Pauline Etienne, Pauline Parigot, Marie Gili-Pierre, Audrey Dana, Jeanne Rosa, Élise Oppong, Ingrid Heiderscheidt, Jacques Mechelany, Ana Rodriguez
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Claire Breton (Catherine Frot) is a French midwife who works in a clinic that is soon to close due to lack of funds and support from the authorities, for more advanced techniques are being brought in to replace the old ways in which the middle-aged Claire was schooled. However, she is very good at her job, and has such a benevolent reputation that young women seek her out to deliver their babies, yet when someone rather older seeks her out she is not sure how to react. This is because she has been contacted by Beatrice (Catherine Deneuve), who she has a personal connection with despite having not seen her since she was a lot younger: Beatrice was the woman who ran off with her father.

The two Catherines graced this drama from writer and director Martin Provost, a couple of celebrated Gallic acting talents of different generations, and the overall reception indicated they were far from wasted here. Though the plot may have seemed slight to some opinions, this was more a character study that regarded one woman past the halfway point in her life meeting up with one who is most likely reaching the end of hers, as Beatrice abruptly announces in the lunch she has invited Claire to that she has a brain tumour that may well kill her. In light of what the older woman did to her family, Claire is understandably having mixed feelings about this sudden revelation.

The sticking point was not so much that Beatrice broke up the marriage of Claire's parents, but more that her beloved father, a swimming champion, committed suicide when his mistress went on to leave him, something Beatrice had no knowledge of. The question we are then asked is, can we have any sympathy with someone who, though they are very ill, clearly laid waste to another person's life through their thoughtless actions, and Deneuve had a tricky balancing act to pull off in order to make her character in any way sympathetic. What she did was not play was Beatrice as a monster, but allowed us to see her humanity when we came to accept she had no real grasp of what she was doing.

Despite being the guilty party, Beatrice is one of those people who sail through life causing all sorts of disruptions yet retaining a curious innocence, as if nothing she had done to others had really sunk in. Certainly, she cries when she learns her ex-lover ended his own life, but there was a selfishness about her that made even this incident less about him or his family and more about her; well, maybe not selfishness, maybe a self-centred quality that expects everyone else to march to the beat of her drum and she has such a bright, funloving personality that more often than not they do. To say Deneuve embodied these contradictions in both her acting and the audience response to Beatrice was wholly accurate, it was a masterful reading of what was a shallow individual, and that we liked her was thanks to her canny charisma.

This was not a one-woman show, and Frot more than proved a match for her co-star, as Claire was more the protagonist than Beatrice was. For her part, there was a mood to her scenes that demonstrated how she was becoming obsolete, so her career was dying just as surely as this unwelcome soul in her existence was, and there were light musings on what to do if the world doesn't need you anymore. Do you make yourself relevant, or will there be those who do that for you? In Claire's case, she is surprised to be romanced by the son of the elderly man who tends to the allotment next to hers, a truck driver named Paul (Olivier Gourmet) who is attracted to her strength of character when to others outside of her compassionate work she could seem frosty. We have seen her worth, and in a way through her meetings with Beatrice we see the older woman's worth as well. The two actresses were an ideal complement to one another: if you were attracted to this when you heard they were joining forces, there's a good chance this would strongly appeal. Plus Deneuve drives a lorry in it while dressed to the nines. Music by Grégoire Hetzel.

[Aka: La Sage-Femme. Curzon's DVD has the trailer as an extra.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3217 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: