Celine And Julie Go Boating review

Ever since its 1974 release, grand claims have been made of Jacques Rivette's film, with critic David Thomson calling it "the most innovative film since Citizen Kane". No brief synopsis can do justice to its Alice In Wonderland strangeness; but the key ingredients are the titular Parisiennes (Dominique Labourier and Juliet Berto) who bond one summer. And the magic sweets. And a mysterious mansion whose ghostly occupants appear to be caught up in a tale of romance and murder...

Shifting between casual naturalism and stylised melodrama, Rivette upends the viewer's expectations of narrative and offers a whimsical tribute to imagination, spontaneity and playfulness. At 194 minutes it certainly takes its time, but the heroines' reserves of child-like curiosity remain miraculously intact.

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