Her suit is couture and her features are fine, but Betty is bleary drunk, lost, and homeless when she washes up at a place called The Hole. There, in exile from the haute bourgeoisie, Betty (Marie Trintignant) is taken in tow by Laure (Stéphane Audran), an older woman who becomes Betty’s tutor in the survival of the walking wounded. Ensconced in the impersonal luxury of Laure’s hotel suite, Scotch bottle at the ready, Betty recounts her tale of stultifying marriage betrayed, motherhood turned hollow, and sexuality as a dark impulse impervious to manners and morals. The more she confesses, the more Betty remains an enigma that defies judgment or explication. Based on a little-known Simenon novel, this is Claude Chabrol at the top of his powers, depicting his upper-class milieu with almost documentary precision, and weaving past and present together with supple dexterity.



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