Claire's Knee (Le genou de Claire) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Claire's Knee (Le genou de Claire) Reviews

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½ April 14, 2016
This reminded me of one of those instances in my life when even though I was in a monogamous relationship, that being human, I looked at another woman and wanted to be unfaithful. Though this isn't my favourite of Rohmer's works from an outstanding part of his career (that would have to be 'My Night at Maud's'), this would have to be right up there, and is recommended to anyone who appreciates excellence in foreign cinema, particularly from masters of the French New Wave.

As well, that famous moment of the older man looking up the ladder and seeing the beautiful young woman's bare knee and feeling that longing has to be THE finest depiction of that feeling in all of movies. Glorious, heartfelt, extremely intrinsically rewarding work.
½ October 25, 2015
A film about a man in his late 30's or so are on vacation. He is engaged but still a man filled with opinions about and experience with women. I get the vibe from Linklater's films as we meet the first lady here. They just chat. They seem to have a solid history.
There are few men here, except from the lead, Jerome. He is a nice and smart man, and to help his known ladyfriend writing a story, he fakes a passion about a much younger girl.
It's never unpleasant, but still unsettling all the way. It's all in the viewers head in a way.
Then he meets Claire. A very young lady, still very beautiful. He kind of wants her, but he just want to know that he really can have her - even if it's wrong for many reasons. He want's to prove something. First and foremost he wants to touch her knee.

The dialogues are clever and poetic. It's setting is in nice surroundings, summer in France. Sometimes by a small boat, other times we're in a garden - listening to their chatting. A slow but pleasent film. Great characters and super acting, especially by the lead.
Provocative but very subtly so. It's about love, sex and moral - but all key elements stays hidden. It's radio erotica. My first Rohmer film. It's a possibility there may be more.

7.5 out of 10 motorboats making (French) new waves.
August 24, 2015
Fantastic movie. One of my favorite Rohmer's. A must see.
½ August 11, 2015
Perhaps cinema's most articulate representation of a body part fetish. The fifth of Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales is a clever film, with an even more clever romantic experiment carrying it's narrative.
ElCochran90
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2014
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
April 3, 2014
Jean-Claude Brialy is endlessly fascinating as Jerome in this intriguing tale of sexual obsession filmed against the backdrop of breathtaking scenery.
½ February 17, 2014
um filme para as pessoas que peferem ler bons romances, e gostam de bons filmes de vez em quando.
September 22, 2013
Perhaps only the French would concoct a movie about a summer place (around a lake) where a 35-to-40 year old man about to get married discusses the possibilities and implications of an affair with a teenage girl. Perhaps only Eric Rohmer would make such a movie. The film itself is chaste but evocative. Jerome stumbles into the plot because he runs into his friend, Aurora, a writer, who is lodging with a single mother of two teen girls (from different fathers, although it matters not). She wants to experiment with an idea for a novel (about an older man and a teenage girl). The acting of the principals captures the right blend of awkwardness, especially for Jerome who is very out-of-place at times in the young person's world. Of course, in a somewhat Bunuellian (or Nabokovian) fashion, the film becomes focused on Claire's knee as an object of desire. What would be the various meanings or effects of a gentle touch of that knee? A film that unwinds through talk that seems natural enough, though literary in scope, and which pulls you in through the ordinary suspense created when we wonder what people will do when they have moral choices to make.
August 13, 2013
My first French film. Transformed my life and I have never looked back. If I recall correctly, I saw this at the suggestion of John Paul Thorpe.
December 24, 2012
I loved this film: Jerome, Laura, and Aurora's ideas about relationships. It's a film to watch over and over again...and to think it over...
½ November 18, 2012
Top-tier Rohmer. Although, pretty much all Rohmer is top-tier. Ebert put it best: "Claire's Knee is a movie for people who still read good novels, care about good films, and think occasionally."
½ November 4, 2012
Aurora should have been a better actress. Masterpiece.
September 10, 2012
This movie is mostly about the dialoge and how it really engages us. It's also obviously somewhat creepy, but not really what you would think. The characters are also very smart here and flawless in their roles. It makes sense that Eric Rohmer has a collection of his films in the Criterion collection, this being one of the "Six Moral Tales". It's amazing how this simple story can bring so much life from within and also a human aspect unlike most in cinema today.
June 13, 2012
On Lake Annecy along the Swiss/French border, a boater (Jean Claude Brialy) meets a woman to whom he knew from previous years and they begin to have an affair. He then gets involved with her and her wealthy extended family, for which he also develops a strange, romantic relationship with the sister. In addition, a young niece of the family develops a crush on the intriguing boater. Strange, romantic entourage completely surrounding Claude-Brialy's flirtatious character is amusing and bizarre. Contains a heavy script with a lot of dialogue, but is inventively told with a screen card showing every day of the relationships between the boater and the family (all the days which are in July). Nicely photographed to help add to the film.
½ April 7, 2012
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.
March 13, 2012
La rodilla de Clara [1970]
½ January 19, 2012
I saw this picture 40 years after its release and still loved it! Excellent character development through enjoyable dialogues. A great film but not to everyone's taste.
½ December 27, 2011
Throughout the film, you keep telling yourself, "It's just a knee!" and there's some dissonance there because you know it's not JUST a knee. It's amazing how Rohmer can weave a most profound, disturbing tale of obsession (to the point of perversion) with an act as mundane as touching someone's knee.
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