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La Cérémonie (1995)

La cérémonie (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 20 December 1996 (USA)
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0:59 | Trailer

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A newly hired maid for a rich countryside family befriends a post-office clerk who encourages her to rebel against her employers.

Director:

Claude Chabrol

Writers:

Ruth Rendell (novel), Claude Chabrol (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Huppert ... Jeanne la postière
Sandrine Bonnaire ... Sophie la bonne
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Georges Lelievre
Jacqueline Bisset ... Catherine Lelievre
Virginie Ledoyen ... Melinda
Valentin Merlet Valentin Merlet ... Gilles
Julien Rochefort Julien Rochefort ... Jeremie
Dominique Frot ... Madame Lantier
Jean-François Perrier ... Priest
Ludovic Brillant Ludovic Brillant
Claire Chiron Claire Chiron
Claire-Marie Dentraygues Claire-Marie Dentraygues
Jean-Pierre Descheix Jean-Pierre Descheix
Penny Fairclough Penny Fairclough
Alain Françoise Alain Françoise
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Storyline

The upper-class owner of a gallery, Catherine Lelievre, hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie to work in the family manor in the French countryside. Her husband Georges Lelievre, who is an opera lover, her daughter Melinda and her teenage son Gilles welcome Sophie and appreciate her work. Sophie soon befriends the postmistress Jeanne, who is a bad egg and encourages Sophie to rebel against her employers, but the maid stays submissive. However, Sophie is ashamed of a secret and feels uncomfortable in many situations, finding a way to hide her secret. When Georges tells Sophie that he does not want Jeanne in his house, Sophie stands up to him. Melinda discovers her secret and Sophie blackmails her, but Melinda tells her parents what happened. Georges fires Sophie and she returns to the house later with Jeanne on the rampage. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La Cérémonie See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,843, 22 December 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$76,882
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Guardian included La Cérémonie at #16 in its "25 Best Crime Films of All Time". See more »

Quotes

Man at Melinda's birthday party: Speaking of quotes, I have one that's less famous, but quite troubling. "There are aspects of good people I find loathsome, least of all the evil within them."
Woman at Melinda's birthday party: My God... Who said that?
Georges Lelievre: Nietzsche.
See more »

Connections

Features Top Cat (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An excellent and intriguing film.
1 March 1999 | by Andy-140See all my reviews

Chabrol's film is a clever dissection of the French bourgeoisie and its foibles. Bonnaire and Huppert are brilliant as the two social misfits whose individual peculiarities form into an unnerving and unsettling friendship. Sophie's illiteracy affects her pathologically, and we are never sure if it is her or the postmistress who have been opening the family's mail. The film has a violent and climactic ending which is the gradual result of the two women's alienation and eventual degeneration into killers. Outstanding.


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