Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog

Claire's Knee

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on September 5, 2012 at 6:45 PM


Eric Rohmer


IDEA:  A man engaged to be married stumbles upon his longtime friend during a trip. When he is introduced to the daughters of the family she's staying with, his temptation for them gets the better of him.

BLURB:  There are movies about love, then there are movies about people who can do nothing but incessantly talk about love without ever truly engaging in it. Claire’s Knee, as well as the other films that make up Rohmer’s “Six Moral Tales,” falls into the latter camp. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, or with the literary brand of smug bourgeois blather indulged in here; indeed, watching people stroll and chat alongside picturesque French countryside backdrops has real leisurely allure. The problem is the conversations, too often, feel passé. I don’t know if it’s a general boredom with amour-obsessed stories or if it’s Rohmer’s seeming insistence that men are unable to lay their eyes and hands off anything that walks and talks and has breasts, but I’d like to believe love and desire are rather more nuanced than this.

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