Dig beneath the surface of veteran French director Claude Chabrol’s droll crime thriller The Girl Cut in Two (La fille coupée en deux) lurks a dark modern-day fairy tale about innocence and corruption, power and illusion.
In present-day Lyons, Ludivine Sagnier’s ambitious TV weather girl Gabrielle Deneige, the film’s symbol of youthful purity, finds herself being vigorously pursued by two very different men: famed middle-aged author Charles Saint-Denis (François Berléand) and spoilt rich kid Paul Gaudens (Benoît Magimel). Charles is married and three decades Gabrielle’s senior; Paul is younger, richer and more handsome; yet it is suave old roué Charles who succeeds in seducing Gabrielle, much to the neurotic Paul’s jealous fury…
Inspired by a true crime of passion, The Girl Cut in Two is by no means vintage Chabrol, yet as the participants in the film’s volatile ménage à trois twist and turn, the old provocateur still offers much to savour from his sardonic and bittersweet tale.
Released on DVD on 7th September.
Chabrol describes The Girl Cut in Two as “a chaste film about perversion”. Read more.
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