Director: Claude Chabrol
Script: Paul Gégauff, Claude Chabrol
Cast: Jean-Claude Brialy, Gérard Blain, Juliette Mayniel, Stéphane Audran
112min French drama with subtitles
Claude Chabrol was one of the main protagonists of the French New Wave and this was his second and claimed the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 1959.
The Cousins are chalk and cheese: Charles (Gérard Blain) embodies bourgeois values of fidelity and straightforwardness while Paul (Jean-Claude Brialy) is suave, urbane and an inveterate womaniser with feet of clay. The film also marked Stéphane Audran’s stage debut and she went on to marry Chabrol five years later (after a brief marriage to Jean-Louis Trintignant) and to star in most of his films.
Chabrol passes no moral judgement on his characters allowing their subtly-nuanced performances to lead us to our own conclusions in this parable which is as entertaining as it’s delightful to look at thanks to Henri Decaë’s sublime visuals and Paul Gégauff’s stylish script which he co-wrote with Chabrol.
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LES COUSINS IS NOW OUT ON BLU-RAY AND DVD COURTESY OF EUREKA’S MASTERS OF CINEMA SERIES AND FULLY RESTORED BY GAUMONT PICTURES.