The Midwife (Sage femme) (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Midwife (Sage femme) (2017)

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Critic Consensus: The Midwife takes a rewardingly patient approach to potentially melodramatic material, emerging with a well-acted, emotionally resonant character study.

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Two of French cinema's biggest stars shine in this bittersweet drama about the unlikely friendship that develops between Claire (Catherine Frot), a talented but tightly wound midwife, and Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve), the estranged, free-spirited mistress of Claire's late father. Though polar opposites in almost every way, the two come to rely on each other as they cope with the unusual circumstance that brought them together in this sharp character study from the César-award winning director Martin Provost (Séraphine).

Cast

Catherine Frot
as Claire Breton
Catherine Deneuve
as Béatrice Sobo dite Sobolevski
Olivier Gourmet
as Paul Baron
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Critic Reviews for The Midwife (Sage femme)

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (13)

A film that looks at its characters with understanding and acceptance, it is anchored by two iconic actresses - the great Catherine Deneuve, lovely and luminous as Beatrice, and Catherine Frot, a contained, persevering survivor as Claire.

July 21, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The only thing that keeps us from tuning out is that it's a pleasure to watch the actors exchange dialogue. Is that a good enough reason to see a movie? Depends what you're looking for.

July 21, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

While there's plenty of wisdom about living in the moment and enjoying life, Provost and the Catherines dole it out subtly and without any mawkish aftertaste.

July 21, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Even when portraying the needy, nearly shambolic Béatrice in "The Midwife," Ms. Deneuve is capable of vibrating with an elegance that implies both hauteur and froideur.

July 20, 2017 | Full Review…

"The Midwife" is an absorbing meander of a movie, prettily shot and a touch over-scored ...

July 20, 2017 | Full Review…

Delight is appropriate throughout.

July 20, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Midwife (Sage femme)

What is there to say about this already marvellous film, made sublime by Catherine Deneuve's performance. It is an essay about people caring for one another, and how difficult but vital that is. It is an extraordinary pictorial of children being born, and of their young mothers' stories, joyous or desperate. You see babies being delivered by long experienced midwives in small local centres, soon to be replaced by hi-tech, male-dominated birthing factories. The star in the title role is Catherine Frot, who speaks the key line - someone has to say no to the money maniacs. This film combines French technical perfectionism with profound human values. Everything from the screenplay, cinematography, direction, production and supporting cast is brilliant, yet it is the emotional power of the film that is remarkable: the two aspects fusing perfectly is a rare achievement. Frot lends a precisely drawn, sustained structure to the entire film, transforming her character with it, as it ranges into big emotional challenges and life changes. Deneuve is always capable of expressing her character's entire potential; the past, present and future are woven into every moment. As Beatrice, she has a spectacular role in a great film, and she takes it effortlessly to the limits; she is the master of tinging tragedy with humour and vice versa, she fills the screen with passion and optimism, she drives the scenes; it all happens in an instant. You get caught up before you have realised it. There is simply nothing to compare.

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