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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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?
May 9, 2008
Classy? Yes,
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
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.
February 15, 2008
Well acted and aesthetically attractive, the film remains by and large inert.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
February 22, 2008
Exquisite void.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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
December 17, 2008
It's charged with nuance yet ultimately an exercise in compressed literary adaptation.
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
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
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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
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?
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
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.
February 12, 2008
Rivette's handling of this talky tale is static in the extreme.
February 20, 2008
Duchess of Langeais -- compared to an exhilarating neo-New Wave movie like The Witnesses -- is always dull.
March 2, 2008
Rivette tells the story at a length any other filmmaker would have halved.
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 7, 2008
A remote and chilly exercise, more museum piece than movie.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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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