Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    I wonder how is it possible that, since so many of the comments deal with the level of acting in this film, no one pays tribute to Alain Cuny portraying Camille Claudel's father. His presence is, to say the least, commanding. Watch the scene, when Rodin visits the family at their cottage, where the two lovers half-hidden behind curtains indulge in their lust in the front of the tableau, while father Claudel slaps his son at the background. This is crucial, for two reasons: it displays that the actors here are working as an ensemble, and that the steeling and always, thoughtfully, underplayed tension between father and son, cuttingly explain Laurent Grevill's portrait of Paul Claudel as a believer's thrust undercut by a profoundly melancholic repression and the guilt of the witness who spills into being an onlooker. This is, perhaps, the grimmest intuition the film offers us in terms of the artist's relation to his place in society.

    All this is brought to sublime heights when Alain Cuny recites some verses of Paul Claudel: not one of the film's tensions is left out and, yet, the instance breaks out of its context. This is a masterclass of acting in a nutshell.