The Captive

A considerable departure for Chantal Akerman: not only her first truly literary film (2000), but perhaps the one that works best in narrative terms. Inspired by the Albertine story that consumes two volumes of Remembrance of Things Past and coscripted by Dutch filmmaker Eric de Kuyper, this is ultimately a better Proust adaptation than Raul Ruiz’s Time Regained, despiteor maybe because ofthe fact that it’s much freer, even to the point of altering plot and providing a feminist critique of the original. The subject is unlimited male jealousy, the settings all upper-class and elegant. Beginning like Vertigo (a conscious reference) and at times evoking Les dames du Bois de Boulogne in its crafty handling of period (i.e., contemporary in a way that evokes the past), this is less painterly than much of Akerman, even though it’s gorgeous to look at. With Stanislas Merhar and Sylvie Testud. In French with subtitles. 118 min. (JR)

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