Ty Burr
May 30, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Celine and Julie Go Boating

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Dominique Labourier, Juliet Berto
genre
Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it an A+

It’s as if Borges had cast Thelma and Louise in Groundhog Day. Long among the most legendary, and hardest-to-find, cult films, this magical tale about fiction, film, and friendship at last comes to home video. Directed by the hermit of the French new wave, Jacques Rivette (La Belle Noiseuse), the three-hour Celine and Julie Go Boating tells of two women in empty, off-season Paris — the peppery Celine (Dominique Labourier) and the childlike Julie (Juliet Berto) — who investigate a haunted mansion in which the same rather turgid melodrama unfolds each day. The pace is daringly languid — at times it seems more like a daydream on a sunny park bench than a movie — but you’ll emerge from this wonderland as if from vacation, and you’ll never look at the intersection between life and storytelling in quite the same way. Hint: Rent it with a bag of hard candy. A+

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