PG Cooper: The Earrings of Madame De…

Posted: August 17, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Film Club Reviews, PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

The Earrings of Madame de… follows a woman named Louise (Danielle Darrieux), whose surname is never given. Faced with a high amount of debts, Louise decides to sell a pair of earrings her husband, General Andre (Charles Boyer), got her as a wedding present. Through a series of events, the earrings are transported across the continent and eventually return to the couple. Along the way, Louise enters an affair with Italian baron Fabrizio Donati (Vittorio De Sica).On a technical level, Madame is excellent. The costumes all extravagant; they look great while also capturing the time period very well. The music is used to good effect, though the score itself is not very memorable. The cinematography is striking and where the film really shines. Every shot feels planned out and meaningful, and the camera work is consistently impressive. I also like how despite the skillful cinematography, it’s done in such a way that the film never feels like it’s showing off. The booklet that came with the DVD claimed the cinematography, “rivaled Orson Welles. I can’t go that fair, but the film is very well shot.The story doesn’t live up to the film’s technical merits. I had a hard time being drawn into the story and I think a major reason is the titular character. I didn’t had Louise, but I found her boring and was overall apathetic to her. Her romance with Donati lacked passion and I didn’t buy it. More time should have been spent with them falling in love. There is a dancing scene which is there to show them falling in love and while it is very well done, it’s not enough. The male leads of the film, Boyer and De Sica, are both pretty good. Their performances aren’t the type that will stick with me, but their enjoyable to watch.

The film’s major theme is lying. Without going into too much detail, Louise lies about the earrings (many times) and it comes back to haunt her. The film does an accurate job basically showing that for every lie, there are consequences. While I did enjoy this theme while I was watching the film, it does amount to a pretty basic message of, “lying is bad!” The simplicity of it isn’t really a bad thing, but this isn’t the type of theme I’ll still be pondering in a few months.

Overall, while I admire the film on a technical level, The Earrings of Madame De… left a lot to be desired emotionally. At the end of the day, I did not really care about the story, and no amount of great cinematography can change that. Even most of the things I did like, the male leads and themes, I only moderately enjoyed. Still, the film does enough right that I’m willing to cut it some slack. After all, it isn’t bad. At the end of the day,The Earrings of Madame De… is a fairly average film that I doubt I’ll remember in six months, but one where my time watching it was not unpleasant.

Rating: C

Comments
  1. vinnieh says:

    Great post, this looks like an interesting watch.

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