Janina Duszejko, an elderly woman, lives alone in the Klodzko Valley where a series of mysterious crimes are committed. Duszejko is convinced that she knows who or what is the murderer, but nobody believes her.
Mesmerizing pas-de-deux with two terrific Catherines
Viewed at the 2017 Berlin Film festival. MIDWIFE -- (Sage Femme) with Catherine Deneuve (73) and Catherine Frot. The second film of the day at the lavish Zoo Palace venue, was "Sage-Femme" which does not mean "Wise woman" but is the French term for a midwife. Catherine Frot, (born 1956) is the attractive somewhat older woman Claire (she has a grown son) who is a dedicated professional deliverer of babies (we see a number of such deliveries in bloody stomach churning closeups of new borns) but this is not the main story. It turns out that Claire is the resentful daughter of a wayward mother who left home thirty years earlier, Catherine Deneuve. Once Deneuve (still looking good at 73) enters the picture the story becomes a battle of wills between two strong women but when we find that Deneuve is suffering from a terminal brain cancer daughter Claire, until now full of resentment and anger, relents and takes her in.
Claire is a health food advocate and Deneuve just the opposite. She loves her red meat and wine even if it will kill her. There is a side story involving a single unattractive middle aged truck driver who falls in love with Claire and she more or less out of loneliness accepts his advances. But this is excess baggage only there to advance the basic plot between the two intense Catherines. Many little details such as a valuable family ring enter into the story but at the end, Deneuve, rather than continuing to be a burden on Claire literally jumps in the lake (a pond near the vegetable garden Claire maintains) leaving a most touching Farewell note, bearing only an imprint of her lipstick and the ring that has kept changing fingers. This is a very strong thespian pas-de-deux, directed by Martin Provost, and is another strong contender for a best acress bear -- and a best co-star prize, if there was such an award, for Deneuve.
image1.jpegThe Two Catherines, Deneueve and Frot, in "Sage-Femme"
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