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Critic Reviews for Augustine
By the film's end, it's clear what Augustine is running from, but it's hard to grasp where she was in the first place.
That the film raises interesting questions might be good enough, except that, while the movie goes about denying us information we want, it gives us details we don't need. "Augustine" churns slowly and doesn't make for compelling viewing.
French physician Jean-Martin Charcot hypnotized, photographed and exhibited a hysteric, as does French director Alice Winocour for a clinical love story and empowerment tale.
Ultimately, while this character-based drama proves consistently engrossing, it leaves various pertinent and fascinating issues frustratingly unexplored.
The psychosexual drama plays out beneath the surface -- the movie is so understated it sometimes feels inert.
Fiercely yet faithfully imagined by... Alice Winocur, [the film] is not exclusively a mystery. It's also part love story, part horror story, as well as a parable of gender, power and the enduring enigma that is the mind-body connection.
Audience Reviews for Augustine
This almost-good drama is a missed opportunity, considering its intriguing premise and the talent of the actors involved. What could have been a fascinating exploration of a psychological illness gives place to too much clichéd doctor-patient sexual tension.
The movie starts with Augustine(Soko), a maid, feeling unwell while preparing to serve that night's dishes. Still, the show must go on, which turns out to be a mistake when she has a seizure on the dining room floor between courses. The following day when one of her eyes is still closed shut, her cousin brings her to a nearby hospital. Instead of a quick examination and treatment, Augustine is disappointed to hear that she will be admitted, and soon informed that she will also be expected to work. And as far as praying goes, she is told not to appeal to the usual person, but to somebody more local in the person of Dr. Charcot(Vincent Lindon) who finally takes notice of her when she has another seizure. "Augustine" starts well enough with its copious period detail, some implied like the level of ignorance, such as Augustine not knowing what menstruation is. Mostly the target is the patriarchy of the period, especially with women under the watchful gaze of the men.(And we all know the corset was the work of the devil, right?) As fascinating as this is and even with the great Vincent Lindon on the job, the movie never really catches fire until the climax when in quick succession and with the aid of a few well-timed furtive glances, the apple cart is not only upturned but pretty much also tossed down a flight of stairs before being hit by an oncoming vehicle.
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