May 6, 2007

The Earrings Of Madame De... (Ophuls, 1953)

This brilliant tragicomedy of manners is my first Ophuls film, so I cannot rightly profess a more profound, complete understanding of this wonderful work, although I can say for certain that it is a work of absolute beauty and timelessness. Ophuls's gliding, elegant camera creates a sensation comparable to that of silk flowing across the skin, and serves as the perfect visual metaphor for the specious lives of the upper class. Regarding the performances, which are splendid across the board, I am particularly partial to Charles Boyer, whose portrayal of the not quite cuckolded General is a delightful study of refined contempt. It is not difficult to comprehend why some consider The Earrings of Madame De... the greatest film of all time.

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