La Cérémonie


Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

IMDb Rating 7.6 10 9,435


Downloaded times
June 15, 2020



Jacqueline Bisset as Maggie Webber
Jean-Pierre Cassel as Georges Lelievre
Virginie Ledoyen as Cécile
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1 GB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.86 GB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by EdgarST 10 / 10 / 10

A respectful and intelligent film

I don't know much about Claude Chabrol's cinema. I've seen seven or eight of his dozens of films, but I remember them quite well, especially "Violette Nozière", "Le boucher" and "La rupture." Many years after these, "La cérémonie" is a serene work, the construction of a mature man who avoids making artificial judgments or explaining motivations of his characters, and tending traps to his audiences to keep them interested in what he's narrating. In an economic way, with well-chosen details he gives us everything needed in a story that deals with psychological disturbances and profound social disparity. I do not see this movie as a thriller nor do I see the connection with Alfred Hitchcock. While Hitchcock could almost ruin his forays into psychological landscapes (like Simon Oakland explaining Norman Bates' behavior in "Psycho" or placing clues that led to nowhere) and very rarely treated social issues, Chabrol prevents from recurring to psychological clichés and gives us subtle gestures to illustrate the "class struggle": the way the rich daughter returns the handkerchief to the post-office clerk after cleaning her filthy hands; the way the post-office clerk throws back an envelope to the bourgeois father. A few times Chabrol is not so subtle and he shows tension even between persons of the same class: the way the poor maid and the post-office clerk despise the miserly charity of an old Catholic couple, the way the rich father protests when giving his son a ride to school... Using this strategy, all the portraits are compassionate: the members of the rich family seem as pleasant as the two poor women when they share the little they have. When the climax arrives -the daughter of the bourgeois family discovers (part of) the maid's secret and, in return, the maid reveals she also knows something about the young woman- there is little else Chabrol can add, but only guide us to the conclusion. Maybe it is a much too obvious cut from the two women with no food at home, to the dinner table where the rich family finished a tasty meal. But that's all we need, in case we want an explanation of the way the two women act in the last scenes. All the elements are there for us to find answers or make interpretations if we want to do so. Not too many filmmakers today treat audiences as intelligent human beings and invite them to participate in the creative process adding the absent information, with the benefit of more than a century of cinematic tradition and –if we care- reflections on the way things are today in imbalanced societies. When "La cérémonie" was over, I was very pleased: not only did I watch a movie directed with brains, but I felt treated with respect by Claude Chabrol. Not frequent in much of today's cinema, a respectful film has great merit.

Reviewed by irislb 8 / 10 / 10

Don't read too many user comments. Just see it!

I watched this on video without reading the plot summary on the video box (or the user comments here), and I highly recommend seeing it without knowing too much about the plot. It is a gripping, Hitchcockesque character portrayal that slowly builds great tension and a sense of foreboding. Let all the clever foreshadowing pique your imagination; the ending will be that much more effective.

Reviewed by KuRt-33 8 / 10 / 10

No angels in this movie

In "La Cérémonie" one of my favourite actresses, Virginie Ledoyen, not only gets to play a vital role, but also share a movie with her favourite actress (Isabelle Huppert). Huppert plays the other vital role. A rich family is looking for a housekeeper. They choose Sophie (Sandrine Bonnaire), a slightly cold woman. Much sooner than the family we find out why she's so cold: she can't read. Her employers are Georges Lelièvre and his second wife. They have a son and (from his previous marriage) a daughter Melinda (played by Virginie). Melinda looks at Sophie as somebody who helps around the house (rather than 'the maid' as her parents call Sophie). Every now and then Melinda tells Sophie she shouldn't let her father walk over her. Melinda likes her father, but thinks of him as a fascist. She isn't the only one: the lady from the postal office (Jeanne, Huppert's role) thinks so too. But soon we find out she hates all the people with money. Georges hates Jeanne too: he's sure she opens and reads his mail. He also mistrusts her because her child was badly burnt (even though Jeanne was cleared - because there was no proof she wounded her child on purpose). But wait, there's more: Sophie's father died in a fire. Sophie was interrogated, but soon dropped off the suspects' list. Sophie and Jeanne feel there's a bond between them because of their past ("nobody could prove we had anything to do with it"). The longer Sophie knows Jeanne, the ruder she becomes. Director Claude Chabrol doesn't pass judgment. He doesn't tell us whether Jeanne and Sophie are guilty or not. He only shows them how this affects the rest of their lives and of the lives of the Lelièvre family. Because it soon becomes clear that Jeanne wants revenge and tries to get Sophie on her side. Jeanne is revengeful and full of contempt, Sophie gets ruder all the time, Georges expects too much of Sophie and his wife is incredibly posh. You don't get angels in this movie. But it is Melinda who is crucial to how you watch this film (she's the most 'normal' character). Melinda is the bridge between her parents and Sophie. It's Melinda who finds out Sophie's secret. And Melinda is the person responsible for the crescendo and denouement of the film. Chabrol films this in his usual style: the camera likes to slide around the house. It observes. The viewer is the one who can decide who's to blame more for what happens. The viewer is always right. (Wait a second... no, I'll take that back.)

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment