Ty Burr
August 15, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

La Ceremonie

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Jacqueline Bisset, Sandrine Bonnaire, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Pierre Cassel
director
Claude Chabrol
genre
Foreign Language, Drama

We gave it a B

The least artsy-fartsy of the French new-wave directors, Claude Chabrol has turned out to be the most prolific, cranking out distressing little moral thrillers that wash up on these shores like poisonous jellyfish. La Ceremonie, based on a Ruth Rendell novel, is a tale of class resentment that slowly turns homicidal, with illiterate housemaid Sandrine Bonnaire conspiring with wacko village postal clerk Isabelle Huppert against the former’s upper-class employers. Featuring Jacqueline Bisset as a creamy bourgeois matron, the film offers the sight of three fine actresses playing a subtle, deadly game. Don’t let the help screen this one at home. B

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