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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Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
February 28, 2008
In principle, anyone who loves his open-ended sense of film performance as adventure...ought to thrill to Rivette's latest film. So why did I spend most of The Duchess of Langeais...fighting to stay awake?
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
May 9, 2008
Classy? Yes,
| Original Score: 1/4
Anton Bitel
December 24, 2007
Patience, waiting, frustration, bad timing, lost opportunities - it takes a certain directorial boldness to highlight these as the principal themes of what is essentially a claustrophobic two-hander whose duration extends to nearly two and a half hours.
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
February 15, 2008
Well acted and aesthetically attractive, the film remains by and large inert.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
February 22, 2008
Exquisite void.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Geoff Berkshire
February 21, 2008
This old-fashioned, dialogue-driven two-hander is a very long sit for anyone not already under Rivette's spell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
December 17, 2008
It's charged with nuance yet ultimately an exercise in compressed literary adaptation.
Adam Fendelman
June 10, 2008
If you like multi-arced episodes of Masterpiece (formerly Masterpiece Theatre), the pacing might work in this padded film. As it was, experiencing this in real time was akin to watching two snails race on a muddy track.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Anthony Quinn
Independent (UK)
December 28, 2007
The duologues between the couple seldom vary in tone: he's the doormat, and she wipes her silk slippers on him. Depardieu makes for a compelling presence, even if he's a bit one-note.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
February 21, 2008
The Duchess of Languor might be more evocative. Faithfully lifted from the pages of Honore de Balzac, Jacques Rivette's overlong, resplendently decorative drama takes on the phlegmatic air of its character.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 21, 2008
The film's a minuet fetishistically repeated until either the audience or the lovers go crazy. I'd say it was a tie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph (UK)
December 28, 2007
In a tale of passion, don't we want passion? Instead of Rivette's painterly pose-striking tableaux, would we not like some madness and modernism?
Harvey S. Karten
January 14, 2008
Scenes move ahead in a plodding manner. Since the film's hero is supposed to be a man without charisma, he cannot rivet an audience.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Shlomo Schwartzberg
Boxoffice Magazine
January 4, 2008
Jacques Rivette, one of France's most original filmmakers, stumbles with his latest film from a novella by Honore de Balzac, a period drama set in mid-19th-century France and Italy that is stopped dead by the one-note performance of Guillaume Depardieu.
David Noh
Film Journal International
February 12, 2008
Rivette's handling of this talky tale is static in the extreme.
Armond White
New York Press
February 20, 2008
Duchess of Langeais -- compared to an exhilarating neo-New Wave movie like The Witnesses -- is always dull.
George Wu
March 2, 2008
Rivette tells the story at a length any other filmmaker would have halved.
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
March 21, 2008
The Duchess of Langeais benefits from many New Wave innovations -- long, fluid takes and loosely organized improvisational scenes. Still, it feels like a curiously static entertainment.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
June 7, 2008
A remote and chilly exercise, more museum piece than movie.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
July 23, 2008
Of course, it would also help if we could understand what's supposed to be so alluring about the title character, Antoinette de Langeais.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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