Thérèse Desqueyroux

Her husband was always overly cautious with the gin in his martinis.
Her husband was depressingly stingy with the gin in his martinis.

Bernard Desqueyroux has an enormous head, but that’s not why Thérèse (Audrey Tautou) marries him. No: it’s because he’s got wood. By which I mean pine forests. She has pine forests too. Their union makes perfect economic sense. They’ll make beautiful planks together.

Also, Bernard’s sister has been Thérèse’s best friend since childhood. Young Thérèse might even have had Sapphic inclinations. We’re not sure. She seems prepared to suppress her desires and any display of emotion, and thus spends more or less the entire film wearing the same sour expression. Such things must age a woman, because the adult Thérèse looks ten years older than her friend. Or it could be bad casting.

Thérèse soon rues her marriage and the prospect of provincial tedium. Is there a way out?

This is adapted from the 1927 French novel, which my wife studied at school. The film is apparently faithful to the dullness of the book. 4/10

Released April 11, 2013.


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