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Critic Reviews for Mademoiselle
Audience Reviews for Mademoiselle
Considering "Mademoiselle" is a Tony Richardson film starring Jeanne Moreau in her iconic prime, this is a strangely forgotten project. Why it is buried? Well, it's in black and white, and its countryside scenes are begging to be shot in color. It also has some distasteful animal cruelty and an understated ending that defies mainstream expectations. And perhaps it's somewhat disorienting seeing a French-language film shot by a director whose other early works ("Look Back in Anger," "A Taste of Honey," "Tom Jones," "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner) tended to be so intensely British in theme. In any case, "Mademoiselle" shouldn't be overlooked. Moreau plays the title character, a sexually repressed schoolteacher in a small, poor French village. For mysterious reasons, she is secretly setting fires, causing floods and committing other heinous crimes against her community. But her prejudiced neighbors instead suspect Manou (Ettore Manni), a Italian woodsman temporarily laboring in the nearby forest. His son Bruno (Keith Skinner) is equally disdained and even draws unfair abuse from "Mademoiselle" (her proper name is never given) during class. As the poor town's outrage grows, we come to understand Mademoiselle's twisted motive. Moreau was brilliant in these stone-faced, enigmatic roles, and this disturbing drama is another gem on her resumé.
Flawed, but interesting adaptation of Genet by Tony Richardson. Richardson seems to be a little in over his head with the material, but the screen presence of Jeanne Moreau and David Watkin's brilliant cinematography manage to make this an unforgettable viewing experience. The perversities and aberrance of the sociopath are disturbing but never explored deep enough to understand the allegory / metaphors at play. This experimental little gem of a movie has become a bit of a cult classic among art house cinema fans. I found it hard not to be pulled in from the opening shot of a vile woman opening the flood gates in her high heels shoes to the thud of the ending. And, I couldn't help but imagining The Stooges' "And, now I wanna be your dog" playing over an extended scene of erotic oddness. There are some very powerful cinematic moments to be found here.
a very subtle horror film with an excellent villainous turn by jeanne moreau
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