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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Directed by Bertrand Blier
Wellspring 10/81 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Bertrand Blier's Beau Pere nicely conveys the director's thematic interest in the hold women have over men. When 14-year-old Marion's (Ariel Besse) mother dies in an automobile accident, she makes a concerted effort to continue living with and to seduce Remi (Patrick Dewaere), her mother's 30-year-old boyfriend. If this story line sounds at first like an exotic soap opera, be advised that it turns into something quite different.
Blier does a remarkable job presenting the ways in which men prove to be pawns in the chess game of love. Ariel Besse's multileveled performance as the child nymph is especially intriguing when placed alongside Dewaere's vulnerability as Remi. Similar to The Woman Next Door, this film contains a surprise ending. Only here it seems like a romantic equivalent of grace in religion.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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