The Duchess of Langeais (Ne Touchez Pas La Hache)(Don't Touch the Axe) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Duchess of Langeais (Ne Touchez Pas La Hache)(Don't Touch the Axe) Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
April 25, 2012
Well-acted literary period drama based on the 1834 novella La Duchesse de Langeais by Honore Balzac.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
Nora Lee Mandel
December 17, 2008
Visually arresting period drama finds the core of the emotional life of its characters in the debate between the duchess and the general about love. Balzac fans will delight.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
October 18, 2008
Maybe even Rivette himself is a little too delicate for this ferocious, intensely focused pair. But he's fascinated by them, and ultimately, he loves them.
Michael Sragow
Baltimore Sun
July 25, 2008
The Duchess of Langeais is a romantic dance of death.
Read More | Original Score: B+
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
June 20, 2008
Stands with some of the best efforts of Rivette's long career.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 20, 2008
The everyday moviegoer will find it as impenetrable as its heroine. But if you vibrate to nuances of style, if you enjoy tension gathering strength beneath terrible restraint, if you admire great acting, then you will.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
June 19, 2008
The director guides the viewer through a sly consideration of near-sociopathic not-quite-lovers, one of whom finds refuge in religion, the other in romantic obsession.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Marc Mohan
May 9, 2008
Even though it's nearly 2 1/2 hours, unfolds in flashback and derives from Balzac, then, The Duchess of Langeais is among Rivette's more succinct and approachable works.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 9, 2008
The Duchess of Langeais is a stately costume drama of wrenching passions expressed in courtly phrases.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
April 14, 2008
Jacques Rivette's Duchess of Langeais seems to me a nearly impeccable work of art -- beautiful, true, profound.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
April 10, 2008
It is the ultimate in movie as pane of glass, completely un-self-conscious of its own movieness but simply an intensely focused examination of human behavior on a narrative armature.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 28, 2008
Based on a Balzac story, Rivette's Duchess manages to be both old-fashioned in its settings and circumstances, and coolly modern in its view of thwarted passion and despair.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 21, 2008
The movie's satisfactions are subtle, but they run deep, and there are many.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
March 21, 2008
Both Jeanne Balibar and Guillaume Depardieu are quite compelling in their roles, and after about an hour, you fall into this film as completely as you'd fall into a book.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
March 20, 2008
Without Rivette's usual daring or playfulness, but still a highly accomplished entry in the lazy, stagnant "costume movie" genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
March 7, 2008
A study in 19th-century European extremes, The Duchess of Langeais may put you off at first, but its playful tone could just as easily leave you pleasantly exhausted.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
March 3, 2008
In Jacques Rivette's remarkable The Duchess of Langeais, romantic devotion becomes a perverse kind of warfare, in which a lover who admits that he's in love loses the campaign.
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
February 29, 2008
After more than 50 years of idiosyncratic filmmaking, Rivette, who turns 80 on Saturday, is as intense and rigorous an artist as ever.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
February 23, 2008
A scarred war hero and a delicately placed courtesan spar amongst the moldering walls of Restoration Paris. A graceful story of love's struggles amidst a brutal social climate of denial and despair.
| Original Score: 7/10
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