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Gabrielle (2006)



Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 53
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 13

Patrice Chéreau's exquisite rendering of Joseph Conrad's The Return brings underlying passions to surface in a long-suffering marriage.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 4

Patrice Chéreau's exquisite rendering of Joseph Conrad's The Return brings underlying passions to surface in a long-suffering marriage.



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Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 16,661

My Rating

Movie Info

The events that overwhelm a middle-aged, seemingly happily married couple. The arrogant, bourgeois M. Hervey descends from a train into the teeming bustle of the city. While on his way home, he reflects on the sturdiness of his life: the success he has made of it, and the fortress of security he has built around himself. It is not long before his self-satisfaction is rudely shattered when he discovers a letter from his wife, Gabrielle, waiting for him on his sideboard. The contents of the

Dec 19, 2006


IFC First Take

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July 13, 2006:
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All Critics (60) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (13) | DVD (4)

Although it is possible that French actress Isabelle Huppert makes the occasional false move, she does not make them in front of a camera.

November 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a careful and cinematic adaptation that rings with painful truth.

November 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For the most part, [Chereau] lets Huppert and Greggory provide the emotional impact. They respond accordingly, imbuing their mutual suffering with an exacting and moving finesse.

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chereau matches Conrad's insistence on psychological accuracy, burrowing through the protective layers of self-delusion that hold so many human relationships together.

September 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Husband and wife, upper-class couple Jean and Gabrielle Hervey, are played, to perfection, by two of France's premier film actors: Pascal Greggory and Isabelle Huppert.

September 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Greggory is up to that journey, revealing the character in his various colors, and Huppert is at her usual best, subtle, emotionally full, focused and honest.

August 25, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A work of stunning intensity underneath opulent fabrics

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Both protagonists give elegant and moving performances.

January 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A film that matches all too well the times it portrays, Gabrielle is claustrophobic, stifling, and not a little crusty. Saved only by its exquisitely bitter performances and immaculate design.

June 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Rewards those who stay with least those who use terms like deconstruction.

February 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Co-screenwriter/director Patrice Chereau doesn't seem in any particular hurry with the pacing. He practically dawdles, which makes the whole thing feel longer than its relatively scant running time.

December 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Chronically impassive and faultlessly incurious about others, Gabrielle has been, for ten years, the perfect ornament of a social circle where 'emotion and failure are feared more than war.'

November 11, 2006 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

Most of all, we think, 'Gosh, all of these experiments make for a cold, uninvolving film.'

November 9, 2006 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A shocking, brilliantly original rumination on the subject of marital rot.

September 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A little less flash, and Gabrielle could have been a subtle classic. As is, it's still a powerful exploration of human nature.

August 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

The director's skillful handing and the superb performances are liable to manipulate a smart audience as easily as they manipulate one another.

August 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

An emotionally explosive adaptation of Joseph Conrad's short story.

August 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

...visually gorgeous...with graceful camera movement and psychologically evocative lighting and cutting...[despite] stretches of talkiness.

August 10, 2006

Marriage noir with another devastating performance by Huppert that plumbs the depths of unhinged despair.

August 5, 2006
Monsters and Critics

Audience Reviews for Gabrielle

[font=Century Gothic]In "Gabrielle", Jean(Pascal Greggory) is a wealthy businessman who has been married to Gabrielle(Isabelle Huppert) for the past ten years. Together they host a literary salon every Thursday, that is much respected. One Wednesday, soon after returning home from work, Jean reads a note from his wife, informing him that she has left him for another man.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]But Gabrielle soon returns. And everybody lives happily ever after, right?[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]With "Gabrielle", director Patrice Chereau pulls out all the stops in telling this devastatingly powerful tale of marriage which is based on "The Return" by Joseph Conrad. In the brief time we spend with Gabrielle and Jean, we get a very good idea of what their marriage is like...and it isn't pretty, starting with Jean considering Gabrielle little more than a possession and a key to the perfect life he imagines for himself. But how does she feel about the situation? Isabelle Huppert gives another great, fearless performance and Pascal Greggory keeps pace with her. [/font]
August 13, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

This one finally popped up as being available on DVD a couple of years ago so I finally tracked it down. Was disappointed. It wasn't compelling enough compared to other period pieces.
January 13, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Collapsing marriage melodrama is too talky to enjoy.
January 12, 2007

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

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  • Gabrielle (2006) (CA)
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