La souriante Madame Beudet #MovieReview

Film 189 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1922’s “La souriante Madame Beudet”. Or as it’s known in English, “The Smiling Madame Beudet”. This Germaine Dulac silent French drama tells the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. There’s one word in that title that doesn’t exist in this film. That is “Smiling”. There isn’t any smiling in this. Especially from Madame Beudet. She’s more miserable than me and that’s saying something! This film is a complete mess! I had no idea what was happening. The film didn’t do anything to tell the audience what is happening. All it tells the audience is what chapter you’re watching. Why is Mrs Beudet always miserable? Why is Mr Beudet a raving lunatic who wants to shoot himself with a gun? Why is it so important to know about Faust? None of this is explained. If I was to sum up this film in one word it would be… “READING”! Most of the film is characters watching characters read the mail. Overall, this was a terrible movie that doesn’t explain what’s happening and involves lots of reading. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1922’s “La Souriante Madame Beudet”.

Film – The Smiling Madame Beudet (La souriante Madame Beudet)
Year – 1922
Director – Germaine Dulac
Written by – Denys Amiel, Andre Obey
Staring – Germaine Dermoz, Alexandre Arquillere, Jean d’Yd
IMDb Rating – 6.8/10
My Rating – 1/10
Length – 37 min
Genre – Drama
These opening credits are a little long
“Chapter One”
Reading… in French
French countrysides aparantly look like towns
We see Beudet playing the piano
We then see her husband at work as a tailor
He comes home and begins looking at some stitching before reading the mail
Beudet gets some mail too!
Reading… Mr Beudet has tickets to a show
He asks his wife if she wants to see the show… It has Faust in it
There’s a lot of reading in this – Both on screen and from the characters reading books and letters
A ghost of a tennis player attacks Mr Beudet and kidnaps him
Mr Beudet decides to pull out a gun and laugh about The Suicide Squad
Am I in a doctor’s office?
A man in a clown suit laughs down the phone
I have no idea what’s happening
Are we at the show?
That book looks a little battered
Mr Beudet threatens to shoot himself because he’s mad
So many characters and I have no idea who anyone is
Stop playing the piano and watch me leave
Somehow the piano’s cover is locked but I don’t recall anyone locking it
Reading again
Still have no idea what’s happening
At least Preston North End are winning the League 1 Play-Off at Wembley – I’ve just jinxed them now
“Chapter Two”
Mrs Beudet is crying and being a misery
All she does is sit and wait for her husband to return
Mr Beudet returns by sneaking through the window and is laughing
Even his ghost is laughing
Still have no idea what’s happening
Is Mrs Beudet being haunted by her husband’s ghosts?
Speaking of the husband, he’s watching a show at a theatre
The next day and Mr Beudet remembered he slept with his shoes on in bed
Mrs Beudet finally wakes up and has thoughts about churches
Where did the cat come from?
“What are you doing cleaning a chair?”
I still don’t know what’s happening
Mr Beudet realises how unreliable he’s been and hugs his wife

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