Thursday, September 28, 2017

La Maison Bonnadieu

1951, France, directed by Carlo Rim

An enjoyable satire of bourgeois mores, with Bernard Blier as the head of the aforementioned house, dealing with his wife's infidelity. The comic aspects are generally to the fore, though as James Travers notes the (very fine) photography seems to owe more to dramatic, even noir, territory at times -- and several sequences, including those snapshotted here, are very nicely staged from the visual perspective. The direction is by the unfamiliar-to-me Carlo Rim, though on the strength of this film he bears further attention. 

Blier is, predictably, excellent, though Yves Deniaud steals several scenes as his right-hand man, while Berthe Bovy makes a delightful appearance as that rarest of plot devices, the grande-mère ex machina. It's also very interesting for its period in that the film places women squarely as the center of domestic power, without also implying that they are to be feared; Danielle Darrieux sparkles much as one would imagine, with both her wit and her beauty. 

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States