Femme publique, La (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

Femme publique, La (1984)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

An aspiring actress accepts a leading role in a film version of Dostoyevsky's The Possessed. Dissatisfied by her performance, the eccentric filmmaker begins a rigorous course of indoctrination, sexual domination, and acting lessons that leaves the mentally-exhausted girl unable to distinguish between the real world and that of the film.
Art House & International , Drama
Written By:
In Theaters:
Hachette-Fox Productions


Francis Huster
as Lucas Kessling
Lambert Wilson
as Milan Mliska
Roger Dumas
as Andre
Yveline Ailhaud
as Rachel, Ethel's Mother
Patrick Bauchau
as Ethel's father
Gisèle Pascal
as Gertrude
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Femme publique, La

All Critics (1)

Though Kessling can be interpreted as a stand-in for Zulawski, Femme Publique is not his autobiography in the same way his previous film Possession was.

Full Review… | February 18, 2009
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Femme publique, La


Andrzej ?u?awski's "adaptation" of Dostoyevsky's The Possessed was received with a great deal of acclaim in 1984. However, time has not been kind to this movie. Firmly rooted in the political challenges of the time in which it was made, much will now be lost on viewers who are not as familiar with those politics and anarchist political movements of that day. None the less, Valérie Kaprisky is enthralling as the female lead who the filmmaker manipulates as a sort of political puppet. Francis Huster's performance is less effective as the tyrannical filmmaker -- clearly a dig at Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The most valuable aspect of this film is Sacha Vierny brilliant cinematography. Sadly, the film is simply too metaphorical to actually articulate to the political / societal actions it symbolizes and satirizes to carry any true impact in the 21st Century.

Matty Stanfield
Matty Stanfield

Excellent film about an up and coming actress who finds herself caught between two men. Are they using her? Is she using them? What's the deal with that creepy photographer guy? Honestly, I have no clue, but it's a gorgeous film and there's always something about the acting in a Zulawski flick that I find absolutely fascinating. When Kaprisky gives her line about the spider and whatnot, I felt just as affected as all the other characters. This is another one that requires a few more viewings. And the new Mondo Vision disc of this is the best treatment Zulawski's ever received. The transfer is gorgeous. I highly recommend it and I look forward to their future releases.

Aaron Wittwer
Aaron Wittwer

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