GILLES' WIFE (narrative)

GILLES' WIFE (narrative)

    Price: $195.00

    Code: 2219

    Directed by Frederic Fonteyne
    2004, 108 minutes
    In French with English subtitles / Not Rated
    Purchase: $195
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    In a small French mining town in the 1930s, Elisa is a devoted wife and mother passionately in love with her husband Gilles. She spends her days caring for their two young daughters, while awaiting the birth of a third. Her beautiful and carefree younger sister Victorine drops by often to play with the children and help around the house. Elisa is content and fulfilled, happy with her place in life. One night, however, she is overtaken by troubling thoughts. Elisa begins to suspect that Gilles is having an affair with another woman. Determined to save her marriage, and with no other options available to her, Elisa undertakes a strange and disquieting battle to recover what she has lost, and to become, once again, Gilles' wife.

    Steeped in rich period detail that re-creates the atmosphere of classic French cinema of the 1930s—the working-class films of Jean Gabin and Simone Simon—the film explores Elisa's emotional upheaval over the course of a year. Working with a screenplay by Fonteyne and writers Philippe Blasband and Marion Hänsel that adapts the 1937 novel of the same name, Emmanuelle Devos delivers a masterful, quietly intense turn as a woman whose world has been turned upside down, while cinematographer Virginie Saint-Martin's powerful compositions and Vermeer-like lighting capturing the turbulence and desperation that Elisa refuses to put into words.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Winner, C.IC.A.E. Award, Venice Film Festival
    * Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival


    “Rapturous! Seduces us with true cinematic magic. Striking, painterly images... The ending is a stunner.”
    – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

    “It's an altogether extraordinary piece of work, and I hope more people have a chance to see it.”
    – Leonard Maltin

    “A spectacular achievement! A heartbreaking cinematic work that finely balances melodrama, family love story and devastating tragedy.”
    – Andrew O’Hehir,

    “Gripping! Suffused with a painterly tenderness and cruelty. To watch Devos is to somehow tap into things infinite.”
    – Robert Abele, LA Times

    “Lavishly beautiful! Emmanuelle Devos gives a stunning performance.”
    – Jami Bernard, New York Daily News

    “Most of the film has the exquisite textures of some oil paintings, and certain shots could be auctioned off at Sotheby's. And the ones of Devos's face deserve to be studied in art history classes.”
    – Wesley Morris, Boston Globe