Like Eric Rohmer near the end of his career, French director Catherine Breillat has begun to experiment with costume drama as a way of recasting her signature themes, and she’s found a perfect property in Charles Perrault’s tale of a fearsome nobleman who murders his wives. A narrative frame, set in the 1950s, shows two young sisters bickering as they read “Bluebeard” from a book they’ve found in the family attic; the main story centers on teenage sisters who are divided when the younger one, hoping to save their family from penury, agrees to marry the hulking noble. Breillat has described "Bluebeard" as "a story that teaches . . . little girls to love the man who’s going to kill them," but as in her most notorious film, Fat Girl (2001), any hatred of men is counterbalanced by a thick streak of resentment between siblings. In French with subtitles.
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