Les Cousins, Dir. Claude Chabrol (1959)

Juliette Mayniel as Florence visually trapped and Gerard Blain as Charles desperately trying to reach out to her.

Juliette Mayniel as Florence visually trapped and Gerard Blain as Charles desperately trying to reach out to her.

Rating: 10/10

I saw this  as part of the BFI’s nouvelle vague season. I also saw Diary Of A Country Priest  before this at the bfi and was so bored I left half-way through ( must see classic indeed) so this, the first new wave hit in Britain,  was a nice change to that film,  and it made me want to see more films by this French legend (I eagerly await the release of A Girl Cut In Two) .

The plot of is quite a simple one, and was apparently inspired by Balzac (who is also referenced in the film in a scene in a bookshop). It concerns two cousins who represent the differences between country folk and city folk. The fun-loving, amoral  and woman-chasing Paul (Jean-Claude Brialy) and the naive, sensitive and studious mummy’s boy Charles (Gerald Blain). Charles comes to live with Paul in Paris, much to his mother’s concern, whose fear that he will fall in love with the first woman he meets comes true when he is enchanted by the beautiful but incompatible  Florence (Juliette Mayniel ).

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