Director: Sylvie Verheyde
Screenwriter: Sylvie Verheyde
Starring: Karole Rocher, Roschdy Zem, Garance Marillier
Genre: Crime, Drama
Runtime: 112 Minutes
Reviewed by: Pearl
Paris, the late 1960s. Madame Claude is at the head of a flourishing business dedicated to prostitution that gives her power over both the french political and criminal worlds. But the end of her empire is closer than she thinks. – From IMDB
Several times during this film I genuinely forgot I watching a new film, it felt incredibly realistic to the 1960s era and aesthetic that it was trying to recreate. Everything from the set design, to the soft lighting, hair, costumes and makeup looked very era appropriate. The visual aspect, for me really was the best part of the film. I am a big fan of films from this era for the aesthetic that they have, so in this regard, the film was a total winner.
Sadly, not everything about this film was as successful. The pacing was mind numbingly slow at times. It isn’t helped by the fact that there really is very little plot to speak of. So it felt like for vast amounts of the film nothing was happening, and that they used the gratuitous sex scenes as a means of stretching out the runtime. While in other areas there didn’t seem tom be enough development. We learn next to nothing about Madame Claude throughout the entire story, or most of the people that she deals with. Almost none of the girls are even given names. Even Sidonie, though a major character, has very little backstory or development throughout. It’s not until the very end that we get details about her childhood, and even then it is barely touched upon.
The acting throughout is pretty good, particularly from Karole Rocher and Garance Marillier. They both give great performances here particularly towards the end when things really start ramping up. There are very few real emotionally charged scenes, so they never really get to stretch their acting muscles, but what we do see from them is pretty good. Nearly everyone else has very little to do and most are completely forgettable.
Not one I would watch again, and slow for the majority of it’s runtime with an oddly rushed ending, I can’t in good conscious recommend this one.
‘Madame Claude’ is streaming on Netflix now!