The Midwife (Sage femme) (2017)
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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Critic Reviews for The Midwife (Sage femme)
... for the most part the veteran actresses salvage the soapy plot by playing their scenes together with a Gallic toughness.
The main reason it does not seem contrived is the performances of Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot.
Deneuve has made a career out of playing these types of eccentric arch-kooks; she could act the role in her sleep.
"The Midwife" is one of those movies that could be about anything and you'd watch, so enjoyable are its lead actors.
Provost's film is, in the end, a story about attaining the wisdom that comes from forgiveness and the acceptance of those things - namely the past and the future - that none of us can control.
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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