Claire's Knee (Le genou de Claire)

1971

Claire's Knee (Le genou de Claire)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 22

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,228
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Movie Info

The fifth of Eric Rohmer's "Six Moral Tales," Claire's Knee is a deliciously Rohmeresque story of sexual obsession. French diplomat Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy), on a resort vacation, meets Claire (Laurence De Monaghan), the teen-aged daughter of a friend. Though engaged to be married, Jerome falls hopelessly in love -- not with Claire, but with Claire's knee. Realizing that to be revealed as a fetishist would be ruinous for him, Jerome does not act upon his obsession. Eventually he gets to fulfill his yearnings by placing his hand upon Claire's knee, a gesture which she assumes is out of sympathy for a personal crisis she is going through. Originally released as Le Genou de Claire, this film was the recipient of the Prix Louis Delluc and the Prix Melies.

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Critic Reviews for Claire's Knee (Le genou de Claire)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4)

Audience Reviews for Claire's Knee (Le genou de Claire)

  • Mar 28, 2013
    Eric Rohmer's 5th Moral Tale -->Possible moral topic(s) treated: Emotional manipulation for the fulfillment of perverted fantasies. BAM!! Rohmer accomplishes the ridiculously difficult task of putting into coherent (sometimes sophisticated, but never sophistic) words the complex mentality that drives men's impulses into scandalously immoral actions. Maybe our fathers saw scandal in the age difference issue; today, it doesn't bother us that much anymore because society is, in some respects, more degraded than before. Hence, Le Genou de Claire arises new questionings today. I use the word "scandalous" because Jerome's ambitions are truly perverted. The direction is impeccable and accurate because only all of us men are capable of understanding the powerlessness caused by a gorgeous female figure in an instant, no emotional attachments involved. In that way, everything suddenly becomes elements that conspire against you: the landscape in which you are in, the climate, the people around you when all you want is to find the golden opportunity of being alone with the source of your obsession, the lovers like if they were your personal competitors... everything becomes a conspiracy against you. A vacation can turn into a nightmare, but us men can find the fun in such disturbing experience. A substantial amount of scenes in Le Genou de Claire needed to resemble an "interview style", so that both genders have the opportunity to make efforts to express the reasons behind their actions. Truth is, we do not know the reasons behind our actions. Jerome's marriage does not matter at the end of the day. What should really capture the audience is how, while trying to explain our actions, we build complex sentences as coherent as possible to justify what we do while pretending to know that we understand the complex psychological processes involved, and that is what Jerome stands for as a character. That is why Laura's presence occupies the first half of the film and her participation in it turns out to be funny and ironic, but paradoxical: she understands better why she does what she does (the "lack of parental figure" observation was spot-on) than Jerome, even better than Aurora, whose experimental reasons remain unexplained and that makes it all the more mysterious... just like human nature is. Watching this film is like watching a mirror for men. The situation, even though improbable, is very realistic towards our unfortunately primitive male nature, and most of us have been in that situation with a close relative. Age does not matter, I reiterate. But it is ashaming to accept that our so-called "freedom" (in the context of "I am a free man/woman", like stated in the film) does not represent more than slavery to our passions. Damn it, I've been there, it is extremely difficult to handle, but why is it that we want to be the #1 guy in the lives of every single woman we meet? Rohmer, audaciously, circles around this particular question with challenging delicacy and, let's say, "diplomacy", making you realize that moral is relative, and the roots of your decisions and impulses are much more disturbing than what you realize. 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2011
    Eric Rohmer. I get it, I like his sensibilities, and I think he is an important filmmaker. But "Claire's Knee" is just grueling for me. I found nothing to latch onto. I though the way the characters spoke was the farthest thing from reality. I also don't mind slow films, but this was slow for almost no reason. I know people will jump to disagree with me, but the story, while simple, could have used just a tad bit of flare- at least from the actors. I don't know, nothing about the film struck me as engaging or emotional. I understood the message perfectly fine, but to make it meaningful I needed a touchstone of some sort and it was sorely missing.
    Steven C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2008
    Extremely poetic,disturbing to the sense of tripping controversies,aye,we do realize censorship committees the judgmental issue of age difference and there is passion between....almost all in this film.It remains a gem of spiritual liberty though and you better get some immorality lesson.
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 09, 2007
    It was okay. I fell asleep watching it once and had to finish it a different day. It was sorta like a French "Lolita" without the sex, and much less interesting.
    Megan S Super Reviewer

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