RIGA IFF SELECTION
Célestine arrives in a sleepy village from Paris to start a job as a chambermaid with the Lanlaires, a bourgeois couple. The young woman is received by a harassing host, his sadistic wife, and a cold treatment from the rest of the servants. Meanwhile, she herself doesn’t hesitate to use her own tools for personal gain. French anarchist Mirbeau’s novel of the same title had already been adapted for screen by Jean Renoir (1947) and Louis Buñuel (1964), however, the notorious book proves to be still a good material for a new interpretation: this costume drama is a fierce commentary on the social and political issues which are not foreign to the contemporary viewer. Jacquot began his career as an assistant to several grandees of the French Nouvelle Vague, but gained a wider recognition only recently with films like ‘Les adieux à la reine’ and ‘3 Hearts’.