Claire's Knee

1970

Drama / Romance

115
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 8,907

Synopsis


Downloaded times
January 12, 2021

Director

Cast

720p.BLU
972.92 MB
1280*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DeeNine-2 10 / 10 / 10

Warm, sensual and beautifully presented

The title of this charming film by Eric Rohmer is perhaps too provocative. It really gives the wrong impression, yet Claire's knee is exactly the central point of the film, although in a way that will surprise you. This is the story about a thirty-something year old diplomat, Jerome Montcharvin, who encounters two pretty girls, sixteen and eighteen years old, while on vacation at Lake Annecy in France (near Lake Geneva, Switzerland) a month before his wedding and finds that they affect him more strongly than he might have expected. It is especially Claire who brings out a side of his personality that is seldom exposed, much to the merry interest of his friend, Aurora, a writer, who has guided his interest in the girls, ostensibly as material for a story she is writing. Claire's Knee, it need be said immediately has not so much to do with the pretty girl's knee as it has to do with the protagonist's self-perception. Jean-Claude Brialy, who plays Jerome Montcharvin, brings a veracious mix of smug confidence and little guy vulnerability to the part spiked with a clear case of self-delusion that illuminates his character very well. And the girls are indeed very pretty, with Laura, played with coquettish innocence by Béatrice Romand, also being clever and slyly sophisticated, vulnerable and honest. In contrast Claire, played by Laurence de Monaghan, whose fawn-like beauty is perfect for the part, seems superficial and ordinary and a bit distant. I found myself more attracted to Aurora, played with a gentle and understated irony by Aurora Cornu. She provides the objectifying point of view for us to realize that while Jerome imagines he is a man in touch with his feelings and has an objective understanding of himself, he is really a man who fools himself about his motivation, a man who can be ugly when frustrated, as he is by Claire's lack of interest in him. The dialogue, written by director Eric Rohmer, which some have found excessive is anything but. It is instead clever and witty and at times profound as Rohmer relentlessly explores the nature of love, sex, sensuality and self-delusion. The cinematography of the lake and the French alps in the summer time is luscious, and the privileged, softly indulgent life style of the characters living around the lake provoked a twinge of jealousy in my soul. This is a beautiful film, worldly wise, warm, sensual and subtle as a dinner by candlelight.

Reviewed by timmy_501 9 / 10 / 10

Beautiful, authentic Rohmer film

Eric Rohmer's style never ceases to amaze me: his characters and scenarios always seem realistic but not oppressively so. Furthermore, while on paper his films might sound stagey thanks to his direction they manage to be uniquely cinematic. This film is no exception; it has a tremendous amount of dialogue, perhaps even moreso than other Rohmer films I've seen but it never feels too talky. The plot of this film revolves around Jerome, a vacationing man who is about to get married. He runs into an old friend who happens to be vacationing with his neighbor's family and he begins spending a lot of time with this family. Before long the neighbor's 16 year old daughter Laura develops a crush on Jerome much to his delight. Rohmer's treatment of his teenage characters is one place where the film really shines: he doesn't portray them as naive innocents or stereotypes but rather as intelligent, unique individuals. After quite a bit of flirtation, Laura realizes that nothing will come of their relationship and moves on. In spite of his lack of attachment to Laura, Jerome has difficulty dealing with her new indifference. He quickly turns his attention to her sister Claire, a girl who has very little interest in him. He seems to see this as a challenge; her perfect figure (particularly her shapely knee) fascinates him to no end. Ultimately Jerome and the other adults seem more childish than the teenagers in the film: while the younger folk know what they want and react maturely if they don't get it the older folk are indecisive and petty; they want what they can't have. Jerome in particular constantly claims that he doesn't care about looks but he pursues the more attractive Claire even though she doesn't seem nearly as intelligent as her sister. The point here might be that maturity and age don't necessarily go hand in hand or that even the most sophisticated seeming adult can behave as a childish fool. As usual, the film had some interesting, realistic characters. The film is also one of the best looking I've ever seen, probably in no small part thanks to the efforts of legendary cinematographer Nestor Almendros. Still, I couldn't help but feel that the themes of this film were not expressed as well as those in the very best Rohmer films I've seen. Still quite good and Rohmer is steadily becoming one of my favorite directors.

Reviewed by ddx-5 9 / 10 / 10

Choderlos de Laclos revisited (and softened) by Rohmer

In "les Liaisons Dangereuses", Isabelle de Merteuil defies Sebastien de Valmont to deflower Cécile de Volanges, a young girl, then to seduce and to reject Marie de Tourvel, a married woman. If he succeeds in accomplishing it, the bounty will be Isabelle herself. Nothing as harsh in "Le genou de Claire", but there is the similar thematic about a gamble. Jérome (Jean Claude Brialy) meets Aurora (Aurora Cornu), an old friend (lover?). Aurora, a writer, is in search of a new story for a possible novel. She offers Jérome a gamble in the form of a love game ("marivaudage" as we say in French) involving Laura (Beatrice Romand), his neighbors daughter, who is obviously attracted by him, and, later, the Laura's sister Claire (Laurence de Monaghan) whose knee fascinates Jérome. Unlike "The Dangerous Liaisons", not a single ounce of violence or dramatic events, everything will be just metaphorical: a half-stolen kiss and a stroked knee (and no excessive promised reward from Aurora). "Le Genou de Claire" is a filmed essay about friendship, love, sensuality, desire, fantasies and their incoherences. As usual with Eric Rohmer, thoughts and emotions have to be said and not just shown, therefore everything is explicitly said by the characters. This is the reason why the Rohmer's movies seem unrealistic and talkative to the unprepared audiences. Some say that Rohmer is a writer who uses a camera instead a pen, but that primacy of the dialog doesn't prevent Rohmer to use the actor's play, the camera, the set's and costumes colors in a very accurate way. In fact, he is a real film director with a very personal style of cinematic language. The cast: A Jean-Claude Brialy bearded like a pirate plays a charming young diplomat and he delivers his lines with natural ease and a sensual chemistry between him and the beautiful Aurora Cornu (a Romanian poet, novelist, and actress). Unfortunately the Romanian actress doesn't seem at ease with those long lines in French, and, in my humble opinion, she overplays quite a bit. Beatrice Romand, 18 years old at that time, in her first true part in a movie, plays the 16 yo Laura. She steals the show, the light and the camera, and in view of some mind-blowing shots, for example in the Jérome's room, she seems to have been an obvious delicacy to light up for the great master Néstor Almendros, in charge of the cinematography. When the movie was released in 1970, the French medias became suddenly obsessed for a while by this very young actress, her exotic beauty and riveting charm. The clever and fizzy Béatrice appeared everywhere in the magazines and on the 2 (not more than two in 1970!) channels of the French TV! Then the fame faded away. The industry of entertainment prefers the blonds... The Beatrice's fans (I am a Beatrice's fan!) love Rohmer's "Le Beau Marriage", "Conte d'Automne" and Claude Faraldo's "Themroc", a situationist weird movie. Laurence de Monaghan, in contrast with the dark haired and milky skinned Beatrice Romand, plays Claire, a tanned blond of cold beauty, in fact a perfect arrogant and stuck-up chick with perfect body, legs and knee, the famous knee, object of Jérome's desire. For the fans of Fabrice Luccini, his short part as the young Vincent pontificating about girls is a "collector", not to be missed! By the way, still for his fans, not to be missed too there is his hilarious (and sulfurous) part in Walerian Borowczyk's "Contes Immoraux" (Immoral Tales) 2 years later. Keep in mind that "Le Genou de Claire" forms a part of Rohmer's "Contes Moraux" (Moral Tales)... Time has passed, "Le Genou de Claire" remains amongst the Rohmer's most sensuous movie, and Claire's knee keeps on fascinating.

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