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:: Therese Desqueyroux

Thérèse Desqueyroux is a 2012 French drama, the last film of director Claude Miller, who died in April 2012. This film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Thérèse (Audrey Tautou) has married less for love than for convenience, but it is not long before the casual disinterest shown her by her arrogant husband, Bernard (Gilles Lellouche), sets her mind in motion. In order to break free from the fate imposed upon her and live the full life she dreams of, Thérèse decides to apply her poisonous outlook in literal terms…but her extreme measures will bring extreme consequences.

The film begins in much light as the teenage Thérèse (Alba Gaïa Bellugi) frolics on bikes across sunlit fields with her very best friend, Anne (Matilda Marty-Giraut). As young adults, Thérèse (Tautou) and Anne (Anaïs Demoustier) continue their friendship – at least until inevitably, grown up life invades their innocence. Thérèse is betrothed to the serious and traditional Bernard Desqueyroux (Gilles Lalouche), heir to a pine forest – one that's adjacent to another one, owned by Thérèse's family, the Larroques.

The tedious life of a provincial bourgeois wife soon becomes unbearable, prompting Thérèse to tinker with her husband's medi­cation. The film relies on the subtleties and nuances that surround this action, the atmosphere of stifling tradition and unbreakable family loyalty.

Thérèse Desqueyroux is a movie where brutality is a mind-set and that violence gives rise to dangerous passions. But Miller doesn’t let the story slide into despair. He sees hope and recognises the deep human need to forgive. That kind of decency, in life and in movies, is rare, and its passing is something to mourn.