Saturday, April 17, 2010

Divorce, French Style

Every now and then a little film comes along that doesn't necessarily enjoy major box office success but is high on style and an all star cast.  From director James Ivory (who has a new film I will be reporting on soon - The City of Your Final Destination), Le Divorce (Merchant Ivory, 2003) is the tale of a pregnant American wife (Naomi Watts) who gets dumped in Paris by her French husband. Kate Hudson plays her visiting sister who has an affair (and gets a red crocodile Kelly bag as a reward), Leslie Caron a chic yet meddling mother in law along with supporting roles by Glenn Close, Stockard Channing and Sam Waterston.

French production designer Frederic Bernard created the wonderfully French appointed interiors and costume designer Carol Ramsey did the wardrobe. Based on Diane Johnson's novel of the same name, it's love, betrayal, crimes of passion and the great divide between French and American culture..... and did I mention great sights of Paris? Besides the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, you might recognize Cafe de Flore. and Le Georges.

Hudson's character gets a French update to her looks post - affair

Caron's pattern on pattern bedroom. Note the charming doghouse!

While I won't ruin the plot the aforementioned Kelly bag, a priceless painting and a Chanel scarf play a role. Only in France...

Diane Johnson's book is available on Amazon.

Photo credits: Merchant Ivory Productions


  1. Cathy, I don't know how "Le Divorce" slipped under my radar, but on the basis of your post I am definitely going to check this one out.

    Merchant-Ivory was like a trademark for literate, tasteful, and richly entertaining films from the late 1970's and through the '90's. "A Room With A View" is still an exquisite work!

    And "Howard's End" remains one of my favorite film adaptations from any novel.

    Thank you, once again, for your fun and enlightening journal.

  2. Its an entirely different departure from the classic Merchant Ivory films we know!

  3. I really loved this movie, it was so authentic and the plot was clever and unique. You have jogged my memory to watch it again after several years, thanks!

  4. Its one of those movies that just takes you away for the afternoon. Thanks for reading.