All True Artists Are Hated: The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat

Sly and playful, it’s a beauty.”

Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

Catherine Breillat followed up her beguiling Bluebeard with another boldly revisionist fairy tale based on the work of Charles Perrault. Cursed by a bitter old hag to prick her finger and die on her 16th birthday, the young princess Anastasia has her sentence reduced by a trio of kindlier witches, instead falling into a deep sleep and remaining there for the next 100 years. While in slumber, Anastasia comes of age through a series of vivid dreams (filled with charming princes, dwarves, and magical creatures). Then she reawakens a fully formed adolescent, and finds that in real life happy endings are more elusive than in our fantasies. Beautifully designed by François-Renaud Labarthe and photographed by the great Denis Lenoir (Carlos), this constantly surprising, thought-provoking investigation of the female psyche reaffirmed Breillat as one of the most inventive and risk-taking of contemporary French auteurs. —Film at Lincoln Center

In French with English subtitles

“[The director] uses the pretext of children’s storytelling as camouflage to enable one of her most daring leaps into abstraction … Among Breillat’s greatest works—possibly at the top of the pile.”

Dan Sallitt, MUBI Notebook
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