Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (Trial of Joan of Arc) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (Trial of Joan of Arc) Reviews

Page 1 of 3
June 5, 2015
I take it that this is no one's favourite Bresson film. However, I found this return to his stylized world refreshing - there is no one quite like Bresson. Perhaps the choice of film content was so obvious that some reviewers felt he was going through the motions? Bresson has always focused on issues of faith and how challenges that a person faces might lead them to question their faith. So, Joan of Arc represents a person in such a challenging position - although perchance it is we the audience or Joan's interrogators from the Church who are really being challenged, given that Joan's faith nary wavers a bit. Bresson is also acknowledging Dreyer as one of his forebears, given the earlier director's transcendent version of this story, also based on the available transcripts from the trial. However, Bresson's version is far different from Dreyer's ecstatic take and instead almost mechanical in its stoic and restrained approach. But the inhibited nature of the film (and those typical shots of Joan's hands and feet, often in shackles) somehow elicits a heightened reaction from the viewer, as if the viewer must contribute him or herself the emotion and spiritual force that have been omitted on screen. Of course, modern viewers might be led to wonder whether Joan of Arc might have been experiencing schizophrenia, but the final shot of the stake after Joan has been burned suggests that Bresson did not share similar doubts.
June 7, 2013
It's no surprise that Bresson found Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 classic on Joan of Arc to be full of "grotesque buffooneries" considering the fact that the latter's film was full of emphatic physical expression, something Bresson nearly always shunned, one exception being in this very film where Joan of Arc is briefly seen weeping after her first interrogation. I did not find Bresson's film to be any more profound than Dreyer's, but I did admire the craft and Bresson's individuality that went into it. I also highly admired the performance given by Florence Delay as Joan of Arc. She was nowhere near as expressive as Maria Falconetti, but there was a certain angelic resoluteness about her which she portrayed as being tainted only by youthful trepidation. It was an incredibly honest performance.
April 27, 2013
In my opinion it is one of Bresson's weakest works.
½ July 25, 2012
Outro de Bresson, sobre Joana D'Arc, baseado em documentos do julgamento.
July 24, 2012
A very different film from Dreyer's Joan tale, particularly relative to faith. While Dreyer's film seems to be asking "Will you believe?" Bresson's film instead seems to suggest, "How can you not?" The final ten minutes are exquisite, with rhythmic editing, that wonderfully mysterious dog, and the beautiful feet taking the cross to the flames. The film is certainly austere, but Bresson builds to a formal crescendo unsurpassed in his filmography.
July 16, 2012
My least favorite Bresson film. Bresson's simplicity has always been his greatness and power, but this film, stripped of every feature and advantage of cinema to its very literary core, which is what Bresson is always against, is slightly more than what the trial would actually look like had it been filmed.
½ April 21, 2012
Marvellous stuff - demonstrates the sant's spiritual conviction quietly (the performance from Florence Delay is astounding as Joan of Arc).
½ February 23, 2012
This was quite a difficult watch. I respect Bresson's decision to try and present as realistic an account of Joan of Arc's trial as possible, but whilst basing dialogue on court transcripts may have brought authenticity to proceedings, it didn't necessarily make for an engaging script. The film felt longer than its 1 hr 5 mins running time.
January 21, 2012
Very great and characteristically Bresson. It has an enthralling rhythm which is quite hypnotic. It's less known but it's as masterful as best work.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2012
I didn't know a word about this case before plunging onto this movie. As against my expectations, my ignorance didn't turn out to be in the favor of movie. It assumes that we have the background knowledge and focuses only on trial. Maybe people in general have enough historical knowledge, but unfortunately I'm an exceptional case. I thought that the movie would be interesting as it's based on the transcripts of the case, but except for a few dialogues, it was quiet boring. Even 65 minutes seemed too long to sit through. I appreciate the director's intentions, but not much the film. Needless to say, it serves as an informative piece of work to an extent, but not entertainment.
½ December 18, 2011
Alas just rigorous enough to be boring.
July 24, 2011
Rating: 3.3/5. Dreyer's version is the superior film. There is a lot of back and fourth dialogue, as expected. But, there is something missing, that emotion in other Bresson films. It is a bore, maybe because I knew the story.
½ June 5, 2011
Outstanding depiction of the trial of Joan of Arc taken from the actual transcripts of what was said during her 15th century trial. Short and deliberate - Bresson shows exactly what he can without trying to sensationalize the event. He is seeking the truth behind the event of this young woman who commanded the French army at such a young age and with such success; truly an extraordinary human being. Bresson dresses Joan in more modern attire thereby trying to make a connection to more modern women. A terrific slice of cinema by one of film's great masters - a must see.
March 31, 2011
Bresson's artificial style heightens the absurdity of the trial.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2011
This Robert Bresson film is reportedly taken from the transcripts from the Joan of Arc's trial. And it's a well-done film that suffers from one major flaw -- I saw Karl Dreyer's version of Joan's story PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC first. Florence Carrez portrays Joan with stoic determination. She knows she's right and no one will change her mind. Because of this portrayal, the scene where Joan signs the confession riings a bit false. On the other hand, Renee Maria Falconetti's portrayal is of a terrified 19-year-old girl, being held in prison for her beliefs that seem so right and true to her, and totally unable to comprehend how and why she is being portrayed as evil, when everything she does is for God and her country. Her performance is heartbreaking. Carrez' in-your-face attitude is probably more historically accurate -- Joan WAS a warrior after all -- but I like Falconetti better. And I just like Dreyer better as a director than Bresson. Bresson's direction is spare and minimalist, and it leaves me a bit cold. Dreyer's work never fails to move me, especially in the way he gets such real emotion out of his actors. I'll admit to being brought to tears by more than one of his films.

Bresson claims that he made his Joan more of a modern 1960's woman so younger people would identify with her, He gave her a somewhat modern hairstyle and wardrobe. Once again, I prefer Dreyer's Joan, who was even stripped of her hair for the role. One good thing about seeing both films is that I now have a bigger picture of what Joan went through during her trial. Dreyer also used the original transcripts, and the dialogue reflects that, matching word for word in several places. But in many cases they concentrated on different sections of the transcriptions, so seeing Bresson's film filled in the gaps from the Dreyer film.
½ March 16, 2011
French auteur Robert Bresson strips down the story of St. Joan's trial to its bare essentials and creates what may be the most realistic portrayal, all with a running time that is just over an hour. Naturally one has to compare Bresson's version to Dreyer's earlier version, The Passion Of Joan Of Arc. Both are great pieces of cinema on their own with their own unique style. Dreyer's film is shot with mostly close-ups with many weird angles and camera techniques and has an extraordinary, yet melodramatic performance by Renà (C)e Falconetti where as Bresson's version doesn't have the kind of experimental camerawork as Dreyer's, although he does his signature shots focusing on the feet or hands of a character. But the main thing that is different from Dreyer's is that, except for a couple of moments, the actress playing Joan does not show too much emotion (stripping all the emotion from his actors, whom he actually referred to as "models", is one of the characteristics that one will notice when watching his films.) and characterizes Joan as a woman much more sophisticated and less naive than any other version of St. Joan. Some may notice that the hairstyle and even what she wears may seem a bit off, as it is more contemporary of the '60s. This was an artistic choice on behalf of Bresson, as he wanted the younger people of the era to watch the movie and relate to this heroic martyr. One thing that is striking is how accurate the film is as it uses a script that was heavily based on the actual transcript notes that were taken during the trial. It shows how the men used different psychological and physical torture techniques to break her. The Trial Of Joan Of Arc (Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc) is an exceptional film made by one of the greatest philosophical and spiritual poets of cinema. Highly recommended viewing.

Robert Bresson only made a small amount of films but all of them worth watching. Others I have seen and loved are Diary Of a Country Priest, A Man Escaped, Pickpocket, Au Hasard Balthazar, Mouchette, and L'Argent. He was a phenomenal and a truly unique artist. 9/10
March 14, 2011
In English called "The Trial of Joan of Arc", this movie stays very close to historical accuracy, but fails as entertainment and creativity.

Almost like a remake of the 1928 version (just not expressionist and scary as all hell), The Trial of Joan of Arc uses dialogue from the records of the real trial. It's interesting to hear words from the real Joan in a movie, and it's dialogue definitely is thurough. But I've got a few problems. We already have a movie about Joan's trial. Though this one may be more accurate, the movie could have tried to be more entertaining. Running just over an hour, this movie had lots of time to go into the politics of the times, or focus in on other characters, or focus on Joan in the slightest. The actors literally show only one emotional characteristic through the whole movie, adding very little to the delivery of their lines besides straight forward conversations that go back and forth without a pause or a sign of trying to play with their characters.

Robert Bresson has a lot of stalk about himself as a man who refuses to do movies unless he can make them look like pieces of art than a piece of cinema. You'ld think a comment like that would mean this movie would be a visual feast for the eyes like no other. Unfortunately, I was not impressed. Though this movie tries to be accurate, it looks very dull. The trial scenes only have 3 different camera positions. And I mean the WHOLE trial. One angle of Joan, the other and Cauchon, and an another at another member of the court. This repetitive perspective becomes apparent that this movie is less of a work of art and more like bad directing. Sets and art direction look dark and accurate, even if you don't see the entire room or where exactly the characters are in the scene. Lighting is impressive. There are some scenes with a sort of voyeur-esque perspective of people looking at Joan through a hole in the prison wall, but that's nothing that Alfred Hitchcock hadn't already perfected. But what I do like is the detail of the Jurors talking to Joan in French then revert to English when talking to eachother.

This movie does try to obtain a look and a style. It's just to bad that this movie is incredably dull and boring, from the acting to the directing. This movie isn't an influential telling of Joan of Arc, nor an example of good filmmaking or storytelling.
February 19, 2011
Quizás la mejor versión del proceso de Juana de Arco despuà (C)s de la del maestro Dreyer que incluso es una adaptación sonora de la misma y que resulta bastante interesante y bien elaborada como lo solía hacer Bresson sin usar actores profesionales y el trabajo que hace Florence Delay para representar a esta mujer virgen con una firme creencia en Dios y en su contacto con à (C)l no cae en pretensiones sino en algo meramente bien ejecutado. Imposible verla sin pensar en Dreyer, pero tan destacable como aquella.
May 12, 2010
Rigorous and suffocating simplicity, Bresson style.
April 6, 2010
on the scale of the running time, this might be Bresson's minor work. but this is definitely not his worst. The Trial of Joan of Arc capable of showing, in the name of simplicity, one of the most important trial ever happened. No such unimportant scene. No unnecesary dialogue, or extended scenes. This is Bresson at his most efficient
Page 1 of 3