REVIEW: ‘Thérèse Raquin’ (1953)

Thérèse RaquinTitle: ‘Thérèse Raquin’
1953, France/Italy
Director: Marcel Carné
Cast: Simone Signoret, Raf Vallone, Jacques Duby

Based on the novel by Emile Zola, ‘Thérèse Raquin’ is the story of a beautiful woman married to the most annoying and pathetic man in France. Trapped in a loveless marriage, constantly humiliated by her mother-in-law, one day Thérèse meets Laurent, a colleague of her husband. Their passionate affair is the beginning of a tale of love, crime and blackmailing.

‘Thérèse Raquin’ is one of those movies from the 50’s that enchant the modern viewer with their candor and simplicity. It’s pure cinema from another era, when telling a story was the main goal for a director, without the need to impress or wow the audience with intricate narrative structures or never-before-seen shooting styles.

Simone Signoret was a phenomenal actress. Everyone is really good in this film, but Madame Signoret is on another level. She was able to communicate so much with so little and with such an intensity. Her performance alone is a valid reason to watch this classic.

★★★★☆

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