June 30, 2009

Random Musing: Chéri

This past year at Vanderbilt, I took a year-long French history and literature class (in French, mind you) called "Textes et Contextes," which aimed to teach the two subjects by the ways in which they interact. The first semester covered the Middle Ages to 1850 (which was really more history than literature), and the second semester covered 1850 to the present (which was really more literature than history). In the latter semester, we analyzed samples from the works of de Maupassant, Camus, Duras, and others. One of the others happened to be an extract from Colette's "La Fin de Chéri." Colette's style of writing was certainly interesting, although the story was a bit nebulous for us English-speaking readers of the original French text (thanks to its focus on nuance).

Not long ago, I happened to discover that Michelle Pfeiffer would be starring in a film adaptation of "Chéri" (with Stephen Frears ("The Queen") directing!). I adore Michelle Pfeiffer, and I admire Stephen Frears' work, so I have been quite ecstatic to see its theatrical release...

...And now it's here. I have read two reviews of the film in the course of the last few hours: one, which is clearly frivolous and elementary (found in "People"), and the other, which is a stirring, thoughtful reflection (as always, coming from Roger Ebert). I cannot discuss my own thoughts on the film any further, having not seen it yet, but I think that Ebert, as usual, has summed up what I am anticipating about the film. (However, he never mentions what I am currently predicting: potential Oscar nominations.)

"Chéri" is currently in limited release nationwide. Boy, I wish I could see it now...

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