128 minutes of slow-motion torture. Bertrand Tavernier’s misconceived catalog of suffering and squalor during the Middle Agesspecifically his grim account of incest and humiliation after a lord (Bernard Pierre Donnadieu) returns from the Hundred Years’ War to rape his daughter (Julie Delpy), berate his son (Nils Tavernier), curse God, and abuse a few othersis worthy of Woody Allen in one of his unfunny, self-flagellating moods. The toneless script is by Colo Tavernier O’Hagan, who previously collaborated with her ex-husband on that oatmeal manifesto known as A Sunday in the Country. If the earlier film was a square celebration of mediocrity, this one is an equally square and gutless attempt to do something down and dirty without knowing precisely how or why. A fine original score by jazz bassist Ron Carter and some good cinematography by Bruno de Keyzer get wasted in an art film that, like the worst of Allen, manages to bore you (and bore into you) with its relentless determination to be as depressing as possible for no reason in particular. (JR)

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