TrustMovies would be covering, on subsequent days, films by two noted French filmmakers with highly misanthropic views of the world -- one with little talent (see yesterday's post on Bruno Dumont), the other a master of the movies, Claude Chabrol, who managed to smartly link France's "New Wave" to its more "establishment" cinematic past.
OPHELIA, as you might quickly guess, is this fellow's updated "take" on Shakespeare's Hamlet, viewed as, among other things, class warfare. Chabrol always had it in for the haute bourgeoisie, but neither did he view the working class with any kind of confidence or love.
This political overlay, in any case, is mostly skin deep, as the director/co-writer is much more interested in doing riffs on the original, which anyone who knows the play should find surprisingly amusing and often quite smart.
The title character -- played by the lovely Juliette Mayniel (at right) -- is actually named Lucy and hates being referred to as Ophelia, and our Gertrude and Claudius characters (here known as Claudia and Adrien) are given proper depth and charisma by Alida Valli (below, left) and Claude Cerval (below, center).
André Jocelyn (shown above, right, and below, left), was sometimes also known as André Josselin. Ophelia marked his rise to a "starring" role, yet it also marked the end of his career. I am not aware of what kind of reviews this actor received critically in France and elsewhere, but I suspect that they were perhaps unkind, for M. Jocelyn turns his Hamlet character into a twit who soon morphs into full-out twat.
From Olive Films, Ophelia hit the street earlier this month and is available for purchase, if not perhaps for rental.