Cousin Bette - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cousin Bette Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 28, 2011
Jessica Lange plays a family's dowdy ugly duckling, given the short shrift habitually, who's as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore in this flighty costumer that promises more than it delivers. Revenge, served at room temperature.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"Cousin Bette" starts in 1846 in Paris where Bette(Jessica Lange) declines an offer following the death of her sister(Geraldine Chaplin) to serve in the widow's(Hugh Laurie) household. Instead, she makes ends meet barely in a variety of tasks including making costumes for the theatre. Despite that, she still visits with them frequently, especially young Hortense(Kelly Macdonald) who is set to be married off. At the advanced age of 40, Bette is also unmarried, hoping one day that her prince will come. He does sort of when a broke Polish sculptor, Wenceslas(Aden Young), attempts to kill himself and she nurses him back to health.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Cousin Bette" is proof that a very good cast is no guarantee for a movie's quality, especially with miscasting as egregious as it is here. To start, it is hard to buy Jessica Lange as plain and unassuming. And Hugh Laurie is simply much too young for his part. These are the least of the flaws on display which include insufficient character development, broad caricatures and lackadaisical direction. The fragmented narrative which never truly comes together feels like there is quite a bit missing. All of which is a shame because there are some very witty moments and an intriguing setting on the cusp of the 1848 revolutions which rocked the French monarchy once and for all.[/font]
iLeo
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2007
Brilliant!
June 12, 2007
you know how Hugh Laurie is just GREAT in House? This is not House. Only recommended if you are a die hard fan.
½ January 5, 2005
Errrg. For the last couple of days, it's been nothing but freezing rain, sleet, snow, and wind. In fact, it's still snowing as I write this entry.

These last couple of days sum up every reason why I don't like winter.

I mean it, someday I'm moving out to the Pacific Northwest coast, where I will not have to deal with this winter crap every year.

At least I was finally able to catch a new episode of "Lost". I've been catching up on the reruns since I got home, and in combination with a few on-line recaps, I know pretty much what's going on, and the combination of the ROTK EE and this is leading to some serious Dom Monaghan love...moreso than usual. Which was a lot to begin with.

Ok, I'll stop rambling and just do some Netflix reviews:

[b]*Cousin Bette[/b] -- This movie, based on a novel by Balzac (although from what I've read, it's not that accurate), centers on the title character, played by Jessica Lange. She has always resented the favorment of her pretty sister, so once she dies and leaves her family in Bette's care -- her weak-willed husband Hector (Hugh Laurie), her naive, romantic daughter Hortense (Kelly MacDonald, aka That Pretty Scottish Girl From Trainspotting and Gosford Park), and her older, more sensible, married son -- Bette sets about to exact her revenge, with the help of a singer who is also Hector's mistress (Elisabeth Shue), the wealthy but crass mayor (Bob Hoskins), and a penniless artist named Wenseclas. It's hard not to side with Bette for the sheer fact that this family is utterly clueless to her schemes, however obvious they may be, but for that reason it makes her plots all the less satisfying. Nonetheless, Lange turns in a solid performance, and Hugh Laurie can do no wrong in my eyes, so I would deem this tolerable.

[b]*Seven Years In Tibet[/b] -- [i]Amazing[/i] cinematography. Too bad the story has to center on Brad Pitt's character, who is quite the self-centered asshole for the first half. He gets much more tolerable over the second half, which concerns his friendship with the young Dalai Lama and the invasion of Tibet, but Pitt never quite seems to fit into the role, like he's slightily in over his head acting-wise (which IMO he often is in his acting). David Thewlis, on the other hand, plays his far more reasonable and likeable companion and is just lovely for the first half of the movie. Unfortunately, he more or less dissappears in the second half, which is a shame because Thewlis (again, IMO) is just a far better and more interesting actor than Pitt can be most of the time.
May 7, 2014
Mostly stupid manipulation movie from beginning to end.
November 20, 2012
Lange saves this one.
September 21, 2012
Jessica Lange is far too attractive to be Bette, and the plot is so far from the book that it makes little sense. Masterpiece Theater's version was far superior.
September 14, 2012
A very self controlled Jessica Lange unlike her other roles that she wonderfully plays as a mad hysterical woman.
July 27, 2012
A great final scene highlights this revenge tale.
May 13, 2012
i am a huge fan of dark comedies when done right. "cousin bette" does not fall into that category.
March 26, 2012
Only highlights here are Hugh Laurie and Toby Jones. In a movie of nearly two hours, it is quite little to satisfy.
½ January 29, 2012
i haven't read the book, so i can't compare it, but you can predict much of the characters richness comes from Balzac. Lange is very good on her faces.
January 25, 2012
The miscast talents of some very good actors are wasted in this completely unengaging film.
October 25, 2011
Warning:
Institutionalized Gender Oppression

And then I got so bored that I died and had to leave.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2011
Jessica Lange plays a family's dowdy ugly duckling, given the short shrift habitually, who's as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore in this flighty costumer that promises more than it delivers. Revenge, served at room temperature.
½ February 21, 2011
except for Lange this movie is so wrongly cast....Laurie, Shue and the rest aren't strong enough to pull off what could have been a good movie...Aden Young, in particular, showcases mediocrity....such a shame - avoid
½ October 1, 2010
What a sinister woman!
terris85017
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2010
(1998 Director: Des McAnluff) Co-stars Hugh Laurie alias Dr. House [review fo follow]
½ May 12, 2010
Una comedia de epoca imprescindible...
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