Les Destinées
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Acclaimed French filmmaker Olivier Assayas follows up on the international success of Fin Août, Début Septembre and Irma Vep with this sweeping adaptation of the sprawling three-volume tome by Jacques Chardonne. Set in three chapters spanning from the beginning of the 1900s to after WWI, the first section takes place in the fictional village of Barbazac, located in the Cognac region. Protestant pastor Jean Barnery (Charles Berling) learns of his wife Nathalie's (Isabelle Huppert) infidelity from the village grapevine and sends his daughter away. At the same time, 20-year-old Pauline… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A massive undertaking and an accomplished piece of filmmaking in a solid tradition of intelligent, meticulous literary adaptations."
‑ David Rooney, Variety
"More than a few of us would show up for the chance to see and hear Huppert and Beart read from the Limoges telephone directory. Assayas can count himself lucky for that."
‑ Susan Stark, Detroit News
"Despite an off-putting premise, this is a sumptuous drama boasting substance as well as spectacle."
‑ , Film4
"The filmmaker's heart is in the right place..."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"An exhausting family drama about a porcelain empire and just as hard a flick as its subject matter."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Assayas is masterful in using offscreen sounds to conjure up a novelistic sense of milieu and in handling various ceremonies, and the film's lush texture explains why he called it his anti-Dogma film."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Opens at a funeral, ends on the protagonist's death bed and doesn't get much livelier in the three hours in between."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"We're kept intrigued by the characters and where they're heading, and the gorgeous cinematography and production design help us submerge ourselves in their world."
‑ Rich Cline, Film Threat
"An empty shell of an epic rather than the real deal."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Gorgeous to look at but insufferably tedious and turgid...a curiously constricted epic."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Ambitious, efficient, sensitive, but a little disappointing."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The movie is relentlessly gorgeous, and brims over with color, light and movement like a room-filling Monet canvas."
‑ Tom Sime, Dallas Morning News
"Enduring love but exhausting cinema."
‑ Harry Guerin, RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
"It is...very good at showing how people can and do change over the course of a lifetime, how faith can be abandoned and then picked up, how love can ebb and mutate."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Death awaits us all, but Assayas, with a humanist's generosity, offers his characters the greatest gift art can give: immortality."
‑ Elbert Ventura, PopMatters
More reviews for Les Destinées on Rotten Tomatoes