The Devil Probably (Le diable probablement) (1977)
Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 13
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 2
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Average Rating: 9.3/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0
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Average Rating: 3.9/5
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In order to be technically free of the mortal sin of suicide, a young man who has given up on the world pays a drug-addict to shoot him. Charles (Antoine Monnier), who is a student, has tried political action and investigated the claims of religion but ultimately finds nothing which will change the overwhelming bleakness he feels surrounded by. In this austere movie by director Robert Bresson, the power of the storytelling comes from the lucidity of the imagery captured on film, rather than in
Sep 29, 1977 Wide
Mar 18, 1997
Not a masterwork perhaps, but certainly the work of a master, and, judging from the work of many of his young French disciples (including Leos Carax), one of his most influential features.
Bresson, as always, holds on to that grace, gives us that beauty. While watching this great rapt film, with its hideous vision of a moral void, we almost can see light flickering in darkness, feel a spirit descending.
Both the world and Bresson's cinema are in disarray, and the signs of his inner conflict are deeply troubling and tremendously moving.
Hold on to something, Bresson implies, or you may fall in love with boredom itself. See it for the mood.
Its case is presented rather than argued: one buys its cosmic bleakness or one doesn't, but there is no doubt about the conviction with which it is put.
No other director I can think of has come as close as Bresson to molding his players into what are, in effect, variations on a continuing personality, much the way a painter might.
Bresson's second-to-last film is not his bleakest, but it's probably his most plot-heavy, a droll tragedy about a young womanizer who contemplates, as many Bresson heroes and heroines have done before him, an exit strategy.
Bears all the hallmarks of Bresson's celebrated restraint, but it also shows its age, so failing to engage that, like its protagonist, you too will (probably) find yourself just wanting it to end.
Another rigorous -- and unusually watchable -- exercise in cinematic discipline by Bresson, the master of the minimal.
If nothing else, there's plenty of conviction in the telling of the grim story.
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