Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Movie Review: The Red and the Black

The Red and the Black (Le Rouge et le Noir, 1997) tells the story of an ambitious peasant carpenter, Julien Sorel, played by Kim Rossi Stuart, in post Napoleon Bonaparte France who tries to escape his lower class upbringing by joining the clergy. He starts off tutoring Latin to the son of a Mayor, but falls in love with the Mayor’s wife, played by Carole Bouquet. They have a secret tryst. Close to being discovered, he goes off to seminary where he is unhappy and unpopular because he is smarter than his peers. On the recommendation of his mentor, a former abbot at the seminary, he is hired by a nobleman in Paris as a secretary. There, he falls for the nobleman’s daughter, played by Judith Godrèche. He impregnates her, and as one might imagine, this does not go over well at all. This French made for television movie was on two dvds and I loved every minute of it. Kim Rossi Stuart was gorgeous and passionate, and I bought him in the part immediately.

The film explores life’s varied intents such as riches, love, piety, freedom, brotherhood, and class equality in an intelligent manner. But, the main character, Sorel, is so impetuous, that he brings us to the dramatic ending without any real conclusion, except his own as he pulls us along in his dramatic story. Nevertheless, I was glued to the film to see how it ended. Hopefully you will be too. I give it

**** of five stars.


Doug said...

I loved this book, but I'll have to think about sitting through over three hours of this. I guess I can break it up into shorter segments, though.

Sue said...

The real draw of seeing the movie is to see Kim Rossi Stuart acting out the role of Julien with passion. Either you will love to watch him doing it, or you won't. It is up to your personal taste Doug.

thonnibg said...

Gonna have to see the movie.Cuz I was too lazy to read the book.And sometimes some movies based on novels are better than the novel itself.Besides I love Kim`s acting!
Thanks for the review,Sue.

Cristiano Mancini said...

Loved the book,hated the movie. Kim Rossi Stuart is handsome but without soul..empty..

Sue said...

Well I've requested the book from the library and they should have it in a week or so. I can't wait to read it!