Murderous Maids
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Based on the same infamous murders that inspired Jean Genet's play The Maids, and the earlier film Sister My Sister, this French drama explores the difficult family life, professional pressures, and forbidden bond that in 1933 led sisters Christine and Lea Papin to murder the mother and daughter who employed them as maids. Based on Paulette Houdyer's novel L'affaire Papin, Les Blessures Assassines traces the childhood of Christine Papin (Sylvie Testud), a high-strung child who follows older sister Emilia to a convent school after their parents' bitter divorce. Emilia, who… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Sylvie Testud gives such a ferociously controlled performance that the messy murder seems like a necessary release."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Julie-Marie Parmentier and Sylvie Testud are eerily convincing as the intense pair of co-dependents in the rigorous but creepy drama Murderous Maids."
‑ Lisa Nesselson, Variety
"Constructing this story with sensitive slowness, Denis keeps the sensational aspects surrounding these incestuous lesbian sisters in check, letting a fantastic performance from Testud carry the movie."
‑ , Film4
"Sylvie Testud is nothing less than ferocious...Even in her stillness, she's compelling."
‑ Kent Turner,
"provocative but a bit flat"
‑ Christopher Null,
"Unfortunately Denis' detached and indifferent camera never gets inside the story, its characters, or its milieu."
‑ Fred Camper, Chicago Reader
"Convincingly played, but some way short of revelatory."
‑ , Time Out
"The acting is convincingly macabre, with Sylvie Testud giving an absolutely superb delirious performance."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Its unevenness can be forgiven due to the boldness of dealing with such a taboo topic matter ,and despite all of its problems, this film makes for a fascinating 90 minutes."
‑ Derek Smith, Apollo Guide
"One wonders if they'll make similarly sympathetic films about O.J. Simpson in 70 years."
‑ Jon Popick, Planet Sick-Boy
"The film studies a world of deeply entrenched class divisions and sexual taboos, and then, with a scream in the night, draws the study to a close, leaving its meaning, like that of the case that inspired it, open to interpretation."
‑ Keith Phipps, AV Club
"Though far from a feel-good affair, it is never cheap or cynical. Its creepiness is well-earned."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"Good performances and a firm directing hand make this worthwhile despite the distasteful subject matter."
‑ Widgett Walls,
"Newspaper stories or television coverage on murders far removed from the local scene accomplish as much, and are often as quickly forgotten"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Spare but quietly effective retelling."
‑ Marc Mohan, Oregonian
More reviews for Murderous Maids on Rotten Tomatoes