Kaycee’s Klasic Films – The Lacemaker

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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This is the kind of film I don’t really expect anyone else to like you might have some like that yourself you don’t know why you like it so much but you just do. You’ve probably never heard of it so I’ll tell you everything from the start.

It’s French and came out in 1977. And it’s in French so you have to look at the subtitles, but that’s okay you can read even I can read and isn’t there some theory that only a small percentage of communication is by words? You get so much out of the Lacemaker from the atmosphere and the pictures it’s about this very shy girl Beatrice in Paris played by Isabelle Huppert she’s a trainee hairdresser does the shampooing and stuff and she’s 20 something but lives with her Mum and she only seems to have one friend Marylene whose older and more worldly than she is more outgoing more of a laugh you could say so she gets more blokes than Beatrice.

At the start of the film Marylene gets dumped by her current guy and gets really upset and it looks like she’s going to jump out the window but Beatrice stops her. Marylene decides to go to the seaside for a break to cheer herself up and she asks Beatrice to go along so she does. Of course as soon as they get there Marylene pulls a guy and she’s off having fun with him and Beatrice is left to her own devices funny expression ain’t it but you know what I mean. She meets a student called Francois whose a nice quiet guy and they begin this romance the French are very good at this sort of thing it seems very unlikely that them two would get together in real life but then you think of Beatrice’s friend Marylene who is also very different from her so maybe she attracts more sophisticated people because she’s so calm and innocent I don’t know.

Anyways when the holiday is over Beatrice moves into Francois’ flat in Paris and meets his parents and his friends but that’s a disaster she’s so shy and nervous and can’t relax with the family although you can tell Francois’ Dad likes her but the friends well it makes me uncomfortable every time. There all intellectual and talking about politics and heavy stuff and Beatrice has nothing to say for herself she’s out of her depth. So that’s when the film stops being romantic and starts being tragic.

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Love’s young dream pity it doesn’t last forever eh?

They split up and Beatrice gets really down and ends up in a mental hospital see you wouldn’t get this kind of thing with a British or American film but the French seem to love it or love writing about it anyway some guy I used to know got me reading novels by Francoise Sagan and her stuff’s like that all doomed romances. It was him who showed me this film the first time at a trendy little cinema in the West End come to think of it him and me were a bit like Beatrice and Francois I suppose except I didn’t go mad well they haven’t locked me up yet!

I don’t suppose it sounds like much fun well fun is exactly what it isn’t but I love watching this on a wet Sunday afternoon or a quiet night in with a few glasses of Prosecco that’s Italian white wine a bit sparkly. If your watching with a friend make sure its someone sensitive or they’ll think your soppy. Oh yes, and the subtitles are diabolical I don’t know who did the translation but it looks like it was the director’ 10 year old daughter but like I said it’s the atmosphere that’s so great.


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