The Duchess of Langeais (Ne Touchez Pas La Hache)(Don't Touch the Axe)
The Duchess of Langeais (Ne Touchez Pas La Hache)(Don't Touch the Axe) (2007)

Guillaume Depardieu, Jeanne Balibar, and Michel Piccoli star in director Jacques Rivette's adaptation of the Balzac novella The Duchesse de Langeais, which tells the tale of a Parisian socialite who is romantically pursued by a… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 12, 2008
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
70%
Flixster
User Score
52%


Critic Score: 70% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: At times plodding and dialogue heavy, The Duchess of Langeais is nevertheless an intriguing and rewarding dissection of class and gender relations.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

It's charged with nuance yet ultimately an exercise in compressed literary adaptation.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

The director guides the viewer through a sly consideration of near-sociopathic not-quite-lovers, one of whom finds refuge in religion, the other in romantic obsession.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Well-acted literary period drama based on the 1834 novella La Duchesse de Langeais by Honore Balzac.

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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com

Maybe even Rivette himself is a little too delicate for this ferocious, intensely focused pair. But he's fascinated by them, and ultimately, he loves them.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Duchess of Langeais is a stately costume drama of wrenching passions expressed in courtly phrases.

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Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com

Visually arresting period drama finds the core of the emotional life of its characters in the debate between the duchess and the general about love. Balzac fans will delight.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The everyday moviegoer will find it as impenetrable as its heroine. But if you vibrate to nuances of style, if you enjoy tension gathering strength beneath terrible restraint, if you admire great acting, then you will.

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Manohla Dargis
New York Times

Jacques Rivette's Duchess of Langeais seems to me a nearly impeccable work of art -- beautiful, true, profound.

Dan Callahan
Slant Magazine

Balibar's sly mouth tightens with mean glee as she plays all the Duchesses' games, and Depardieu's brooding, battered face ceaselessly signals the General's suppressed, sexualized violence.

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Flixster Audience Score: 52% Flixster User Reviews
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Duchess of Langeais," it is 1823 and Marquis de Montriveau(Guillaume Depardieu) finally locates Antoinette(Jeanne… More
John Ballantine
Unfortunately this is the end for Guillaume Depardieu and it isn't as polished as other period pieces that I am more taken with.