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Thrse Desqueyroux review

Audrey Tautou plays a married woman struggling to free herself from the pressures of her life

Smoking away in a highly un-Amelie-like fashion, Audrey Tautou steals this handsome but humdrum final film by French director Claude Miller ( La Classe de Neige , A Secret ), who died last year.

All storm-faced introversion, Tautou’s Thérèse is a “serious girl” whose pursuit of a safe life leads her to marry a landed prig (Gilles Lellouche) who’s rubbish in the sack.

Miller’s pacing is no sexier, turning the cut-up narrative of Francois Mauriac’s 1927 novel of the same name into a joyless plod.

Thankfully, things pick up when Thérèse tries to poison her other half... without the presence of Tautou, this would be a dry heritage pic; with her, it brews a sense of enigma that just about saves the day.

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Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.