Les Cousins
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This was the first of several films that would win international awards for French New Wave director Claude Chabrol. His aloof, innovative approach to the simple story says as much as the plot itself in which two cousins symbolize polar opposites. Charles (Gerard Blain ) is the cousin from the provinces with "bourgeois" values. His steadfast determination unfortunately does not help him pass exams or at first, succeed with women. Paul (Jean-Claude Brialy) is the urbane, rather debauched and decadent cousin who appears to conquer all. Appearances can be deceiving as they soon discover… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The director tackles his great theme-the puncturing of bourgeois moralism, albeit at a price-with a joyful, quasi-Nietzschean derision."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"M. Chabrol has more skill with the camera than he has with the pen, and his picture is more credible to the eye than it is to the skeptical mind. But it is not the less overwhelming."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Les Cousins seems to hold contempt for almost every person it characterizes. Although the characterizations are right on, some of the movie relies too much on melodrama and easy plot devices."
‑ Eric Melin, Scene-Stealers.com
"Um dos filmes seminais da nouvelle vague, aborda com inteligência as diferenças de caráter e de postura diante da vida de dois primos: um inseguro e introspectivo, e outro sedutor e confiante. Boas atuações e direção segura de Chabrol."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Concise progression, fine technical aspects, and the look at innocence destroyed by the profane keeps it absorbing, despite the slightly pretentious treatment at times."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"This is Chabrol's second film, and its subtle development of character points toward the dense structures of his later films with their reluctance either to condemn or extol without reservation."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"too programmed, too deterministic, and ultimately too cynical"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Chabrol's second directorial feature is a lightly twisted look at the relationship between two cousins."
‑ , Film4
"A fine, richly detailed tableau of student life in Paris, and Chabrol's first statement (in his second film) of his sardonic view of life as a matter of the survival of the fittest."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"Reversing the setting and characters of Le Beau Serge, Claude Chabrol discovers the acerbic stylization that he would for the rest of his career polish and sharpen"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Claude Chabrol's terrific second feature, an intriguing study of the nasty rivalry bewtwen two cousins that captures the decadent life of Paris' bourgeoisie, established him as a major voice of the French New Wave."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"French New Wave cinema at its high tide."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Les Cousins on Rotten Tomatoes