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Augustine (2012)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 7 November 2012 (France)
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A look at the relationship between pioneering 19th century French neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot and his star teenage patient, a kitchen maid who is left partially paralyzed after a seizure.

Director:

Alice Winocour

Writer:

Alice Winocour
4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Lindon ... Le professeur Jean-Martin Charcot
Soko ... Augustine
Chiara Mastroianni ... Constance Charcot
Olivier Rabourdin ... Bourneville
Roxane Duran ... Rosalie
Lise Lamétrie Lise Lamétrie ... L'infirmière principale de la Salpêtrière
Ange Ruzé Ange Ruzé ... Pierre
Stéphan Wojtowicz ... Conti
Grégory Gadebois ... Un invité au dîner des Charcot
Valentine Herrenschmidt Valentine Herrenschmidt ... L'infirmière Marguerite
Aliénor de Mézamat Aliénor de Mézamat ... L'infirmière Louise
Audrey Bonnet ... Aimée
Jeanne Cohendy Jeanne Cohendy ... La domestique Mélanie
Jean-Claude Baudracco Jean-Claude Baudracco ... Le cuisinier de la Salpêtrière
Julie Ravix Julie Ravix ... Madame Dumonteux
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Storyline

A look at the relationship between pioneering 19th century French neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot and his star teenage patient, a kitchen maid who is left partially paralyzed after a seizure.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From subject of study to object of desire.

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

7 November 2012 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Августина See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,616, 19 May 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$107,114, 15 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Charcot was originally designed for Benoît Poelvoorde. See more »

Soundtracks

The Ascent
from the film soundtrack "Remnants of Everest The 1996 Tragedy"
Music and Lyrics by Jocelyn Pook
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating topic yet not so fascinating film
15 April 2014 | by twilliams76See all my reviews

This slow and subtitled French film that is based on actual events won't be one many are going to out-right enjoy although I found it to be rather interesting as I find its subject matter -- 19th century female hysteria -- to be most fascinating.

The film is about Augustine, an illiterate young French housemaid (played by French singer/actress Soko), who suffers a debilitating seizure one evening while serving dinner that leaves her partially paralyzed. She is thus admitted to the Parisian psychiatric hospital, Pitié-Salpêtriere, where she is diagnosed as a hysteric (!) and treated by renown physician Jean-Martin Charcot (Vincent Lindon - Mademoiselle Chambon).

The medical world of the 19th century was dominated by uber-intelligent men (that "intelligent" part could be debated) and it was common for a woman who experienced something that a man couldn't easily explain and/or understand to be diagnosed with "hysteria" (a "nice way" of saying a female sexual perversion). If a woman acted in any manner society found confusing or even slightly objectionable, she was a "hysteric" who could find herself institutionalized and subjected to some horrifyingly abhorrent and offensive "treatment(s)" at the hands of men who claimed a medical interest in her well-being.

The time period and "understanding" of this predominately female ailment IS genuinely fascinating and if this topic sounds even remotely intriguing, I implore people to seek out the topic and read up on it as Augustine is merely about A case -- AN instance -- in this outrageously baffling era of medical (mal)practice when many male doctors found it to be en vogue and "fashionable" to make these diagnoses! The level of quasi-ignorance shared by these male "geniuses" in the medical field who simply did not understand women is mind-blowing.

I think a better film would have focused more on the doctor and his evolving understanding of hysteria over the years that followed this brief amount of time spent with this one patient, Augustine. There is a reason the film was not entitled Charcot. Instead, the direction of Alice Winocour (a WOMAN!!!?!) has used a specific example to reveal a sad universal truth of the time and expose just how farcical this "ailment" was while subtly implying perversions may have lain elsewhere. As Winocour's first full-length feature film that is clichéd a time or two, she shows much promise. Diagnose that, Charcot!

Again, the movie is hard to simply "enjoy" but it is one that could hopefully shed some more light on this bizarre chapter of modern medicine.


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