Everyone should see a Catherine Breillat film at some point in their life. Now whether it's Bluebeard (Barbe Bleue, 2009), or another, I'm not quite sure. However if you're finding yourself in the need of some dark, abstract artistic inspiration, if you've always wanted to know what happens at the end of this French children's folktale, or are simply on a hallucinogenic, this is one option. 

The film intertwines two separate stories. The first is the narrative of two young girls playing in an attic. They find the story of Bluebeard and decide to read it to one another. We then see the story come to life, they read about two sisters who, after their fathers' death, have no choice but to offer themselves up as prospective wives to an eerie rich Lord, whose former wives have all coincidentally gone missing.  

I'm not saying that this film is jam-packed with action. It is, however, filled with fascinating and uniquely theatrical images. The question of "what will happen next" is not as important as the raw and simple beauty of the mise en scene and the realistic and pragmatic acting involved. 

Catherine Breillat's muse, Lola Creton, delivers a hauntingly serene performance as Marie-Catherine, the daughter that ends up as the latest wife of Bluebeard, the aforementioned creepy Lord. 

Although a little dark and morose, it is never too early to start preparing for Halloween. The chills that crawl up your spine, the surprises, and the absolutely adorable child narrators are enough to give this movie a try on a dark and stormy night.  

Nicole Eicholtz

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