La Ceremonie ★★★★½

My short and curly thoughts:

My first Claude Chabrol film and certainly not my last, is a film that has taunted and haunted me for quite a few days since I watched it. With an Hitchcockian eye and doom-laden build towards it's shocking (but hardly unexpected) finale we are drawn into a deceptively simple plot which sees a maid (Sandrine Bonnaire as Sophie) hired by a bourgeois family in the French countryside. Class struggle ensues and when Isabelle Huppert's unpredictable Jeanne enters the fray as a friend to Sophie, the tension ratchets up to its brilliantly staged and bitter end. With a note of Haneke's Funny Games in the proceedings, this Ruth Rendell adaptation is an exercise in subtlety and restraint, but when it barks it damn well bites. Masterful.

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