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

November 17, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
December 17, 2008
It's charged with nuance yet ultimately an exercise in compressed literary adaptation.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
March 21, 2008
The movie's satisfactions are subtle, but they run deep, and there are many.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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
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
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
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.
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
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?
February 22, 2008
One of Rivette's most accessible films.
Read More | Original Score: B+
February 22, 2008
Exquisite void.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
February 22, 2008
Handsomely produced and featuring fine performances, the film will travel well to festivals and art houses where audiences respond to classy period pieces with a modern sensibility.
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
February 20, 2008
The gorgeous floorboards creak -- loudly -- in the veteran French director Jacques Rivette's fascinating drawing-room war of the sexes, The Duchess of Langeais.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
February 20, 2008
The Duchess of Langeais contemplates an especially crazy case of l'amour fou.
February 19, 2008
With the simplest of means, the director Jacques Rivette has cut a path to the heart of Balzac's The Duchess of Langeais.
February 13, 2008
See it for the respectfully literal Balzac screen transcription. After all, I may have been wrong about Mr. Rivette all these years, and it would not be the first time.
December 28, 2007
The whole thing is compelling from start to finish; 'cruel ironies' doesn't even begin to describe it.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
July 14, 2007
Slowly but expertly depicts the jousting courtship of an ill-fated love affair between a Parisian socialite and a Napoleonic war hero.