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Les Destinées (2002)

tomatometer

61

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 49
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 19

The long, epic Les Destinees is too slow and tedious to justify its running time.

62

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 8

The long, epic Les Destinees is too slow and tedious to justify its running time.

audience

40

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 657

My Rating

Movie Info

Acclaimed French filmmaker Olivier Assayas follows up on the international success of Fin Août, Début Septembre and Irma Vep with this sweeping adaptation of the sprawling three-volume tome by Jacques Chardonne. Set in three chapters spanning from the beginning of the 1900s to after WWI, the first section takes place in the fictional village of Barbazac, located in the Cognac region. Protestant pastor Jean Barnery (Charles Berling) learns of his wife Nathalie's (Isabelle Huppert) infidelity from

Oct 22, 2002

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All Critics (51) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (19) | DVD (2)

A massive undertaking and an accomplished piece of filmmaking in a solid tradition of intelligent, meticulous literary adaptations.

March 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Assayas is masterful in using offscreen sounds to conjure up a novelistic sense of milieu and in handling various ceremonies, and the film's lush texture explains why he called it his anti-Dogma film.

March 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ambitious, efficient, sensitive, but a little disappointing.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More than a few of us would show up for the chance to see and hear Huppert and Beart read from the Limoges telephone directory. Assayas can count himself lucky for that.

September 13, 2002
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Opens at a funeral, ends on the protagonist's death bed and doesn't get much livelier in the three hours in between.

September 13, 2002
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is relentlessly gorgeous, and brims over with color, light and movement like a room-filling Monet canvas.

September 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite an off-putting premise, this is a sumptuous drama boasting substance as well as spectacle.

March 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

We're kept intrigued by the characters and where they're heading, and the gorgeous cinematography and production design help us submerge ourselves in their world.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Enduring love but exhausting cinema.

March 26, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

The filmmaker's heart is in the right place...

March 3, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An empty shell of an epic rather than the real deal.

November 20, 2002
Creative Loafing

It is...very good at showing how people can and do change over the course of a lifetime, how faith can be abandoned and then picked up, how love can ebb and mutate.

November 4, 2002 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

An exhausting family drama about a porcelain empire and just as hard a flick as its subject matter.

October 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Gorgeous to look at but insufferably tedious and turgid...a curiously constricted epic.

September 13, 2002 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Death awaits us all, but Assayas, with a humanist's generosity, offers his characters the greatest gift art can give: immortality.

September 9, 2002 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Rich in detail, gorgeously shot and beautifully acted, Les Destinees is, in its quiet, epic way, daring, inventive and refreshingly unusual.

August 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

No one is better at putting modern urban life under the microscope than French director Olivier Assayas.

August 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Audience Reviews for Les Destinées

[font=Century Gothic][color=blue]"School of Flesh" starts out with a wealthy fashion executive, Dominique(Isabelle Huppert) who wanders into a nightclub with a friend one night and meets a bisexual hustler(Vincent Martinez). She returns a couple of nights later and returns home with him. Now, I can understand why that would happen but why honestly continue the affair with somebody as shallow as he is, if it is only physical? Also, is this something that Dominique does on a weekly basis or is it part of a midlife crisis? I think, director Benoit Jacquot's conclusion might be something more negative, considering the movie's ending. This might be a statement on how a successful businesswoman cannot commit to a relationship. "School of Flesh" is a curiously flat movie about an affair that goes on too long.[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#0000ff][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"Les Destinees" is an epic drama that starts in 1900 with a funeral(for the 19th century?) and continues until 1930. It focuses on a protestant minister, Jean Barnery(Charles Berling) who is in exile from his prosperous family of porcelain makers and his relationship with a young woman, Pauline(Emmanuelle Beart). At the start of the movie, Barnery is in the process of separating from his wife, due to an unspecified scandal. The movie tries to be a sprawling epic but we never learn much about any characters except for Jean and Pauline. All the other characters just seem extraneous and come and go as they please. But on the other hand, we did learn a great deal of how to make pottery and bourbon.[/color][/font]
February 20, 2005
Harlequin68
Walter M.

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Foreign Titles

  • Les Destinées sentimentales (DE)
  • Les Destinees Sentimenatales (UK)
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