445. The Earrings of Madame de…

Happy July 4th! The blog has been on hiatus, but now I’m back with a film that has absolutely nothing to do with American independence. I’ve also had a few requests that I plan to fill in the near future, so stay tuned. (I’m always taking requests, in case there’s anything you’d like to see.)

The lush film THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE…, directed by Max Ophuls, opens on the unnamed heroine, beautifully portrayed by Danielle Darrieux, choosing jewelry that she can pawn to pay off her debts. She settles on a pair of earrings that were a gift from her husband, and thereby sets off a chain of events that ultimately upsets her comfortable life and changes her. Right from the start, the careful camerawork and rich setting set the tone for the film. They mirror the frivolous role in high society that Madame de… occupies, which is threatened when she meets an Italian baron who returns her earrings. As the conflict rises, the characters gradually reveal the depths that are hidden under their aristocratic facades. And that’s how I would describe the film as a whole: lavish and elegant on the surface, but unexpectedly profound by the end.

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