L'Été meurtrier (One Deadly Summer) (1983)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Pin Pon
as Pin Pon's Mother
as Elle's Mother
as Henry IV (nickname)
as Lady Doctor
as Elle as a Child
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Critic Reviews for L'Été meurtrier (One Deadly Summer)
Isabelle Adjani is la belle image and femme fatale in One Deadly Summer, Jean Becker's enticing noir pastiche, now available in a serviceable Blu-ray package from Bayview Entertainment.
It is difficult to feel sympathetic to someone so bent on getting revenge.
Audience Reviews for L'Été meurtrier (One Deadly Summer)
An interesting character study that benefits from a strong performance by Adjani as a beautiful young woman bent on revenge. Even so, the story is not only greater due to a predictable ending that you can see coming halfway through the film.
A fairly decent adaptation of a good psychological thriller by Sébastien Japrisot, scripted by the author himself. The trouble with it is, the book's greatest strengths - the richly detailed provincial French setting and the vivid characterisation, resulting from a multiple first-person narrative - prove difficult to translate to the screen, at least within the constraints of a sensible running time. The movie, therefore, somehow manages to feel simultaneously watered-down and overlong. Japrisot attempts to preserve his first-person narrative in voiceover form, but he overuses this device considerably; I've nothing against voiceovers per se, but cinema should primarily be about visual storytelling, and any movie this reliant on narration must be doing something wrong!
Switching from coquettish sexiness to childlike vulnerability in the blink of an eye, Isabelle Adjani is marvellous in the lead role, but try to imagine the film without her and it begins to look very ordinary indeed. The rest of the cast are fine, though strictly two-dimensional. Jean Becker's direction is adequate but completely lacking in tension; a first-rate director - say, Claude Chabrol in his prime - would have made more of the psychosexual strangeness of the tale, and would have better disguised the fact that the nicely ironic ending hinges on a pretty indigestible coincidence. My advice: read the book; if you like it, watch this for Adjani.
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