4 September 2005 | dbdumonteil
Here Jean-Gabriel Albicoco achieves a tour de force:he succeeds in turning Madeleine Robinson,one of the most talented actresses of the French cinema, into a ridiculous histrionic anti-Semitic shrew ,overplaying all over the screen and making herself a fool.Only for that ,I would dismiss the movie as utter rubbish.
Albicoco had already butchered "le grand Meaulnes" with his "misty " "sophisticated" cinematography.Here there was not much to butcher.I have not read Mrs de Rivoyre 's book (she wrote the anti-woman's lib "le repos du guerrier" which third-rate director Vadim transferred to the screen).
The heroine (Catherine Jourdan ,whose moment of glory was short-lived ;she resembled Mia Farrow)is pure Harlequin Romance girl.The story takes place during WW2 in a desirable mansion which was commandeered by German officers.Among them a handsome young lieutenant (Matthieu Carrière,wasted).Nina (Jourdan) is the worst bubble head girl you can see in a film.It takes her one hour to realize that sweet cousin Jean (whom she loves) is gay!Nina's behavior and psychology do not make any sense.Disappointed ,she falls into the arms of...(well,you've guessed it) There's worse:among this hodgepodge of broken dolls,over possessive mothers,horse-riding and swimming in the nude,some scenes become obscene : a short sequence showing a train full of Jews leaving for the concentration camps seems only a detail,which is a shame.(As Lallie ,who appears in this segment only appeared in her wedding scene before,we had forgotten all about her) "Le petit matin" which I saw when it was theatrically released is completely forgotten today.So is Albicoco.