HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Turkish, Croatian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Slovenian

    Le Divorce

    20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 112 mins . M . PAL


    I love Naomi Watts. From the moment I first saw her in Tank Girl I’ve been lost unto her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t return my calls, but I live in hope. However, all that aside, here she does her best with what can only be described as ‘ordinary’.

    Naomi plays Roxeanne de Persand, a heavily pregnant wife to Charles-Henri. As her sister Isabel (Kate Hudson) arrives from America, he leaves her and soon a messy divorce ensues. He has met Margot, a Russian, who is married to the mildly psychotic Tellman (Matthew Modine) and they are in love. Meanwhile, Isabel begins an affair with a middle-aged uncle-in-law of Roxeanne’s.

    "In the end every hero becomes a bore… "

    The divorce proves a little more sticky than first thought, as a painting Roxeanne’s family own is suddenly wanted by the French in-laws. Perhaps it is a La Tour, they speculate and, with some investigation, this may prove the case and it is worth considerably more than first believed. With this inspiration, Roxeanne’s family jet over from the US and a divorce lawyer is arranged. Meanwhile, the increasingly disturbed Tellman is stalking Charles-Henri and Margot…

    This film runs for 112 minutes and it didn’t really get moving until around the 90-minute mark. By then, of course, it is too late and we’ve lost interest. Around here we did anyway. The plot, while complicated, is ordinary and handled with no real discernable passage of time but the pregnant Roxeanne and even this doesn’t help. As soon as Kate Hudson shows up with her beautiful hair and free-spirited dress, she gets an ugly wig and power suits so even the eye-candy option is thrown out (but for Naomi of course, who is radiant as ever).

    When you have a film set today and directed by James Ivory, more renowned for his dual partnership with Mr. Merchant in period dramas, you get a slow-winded and protracted extension of the mundane while highlighting none of the excitement. The Paris setting is practically wasted with no real exploration of the city other than a sequence in the Eiffel Tower (which reminded me of Superman 2), as is the massive 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The dialogue and scenes seem quite stilted at times and could have really benefited from some hefty culling. Glenn Close is also wasted, showing up for maybe a total of ten minutes and Stockard Channing may as well have never shown up at all. Instead we get boring soliloquies about marriage and relationships via Isabel and her middle-aged lothario. In fact, around halfway, I suddenly realised we hadn’t heard about the title divorce in some time, suffering instead Kate Hudson becoming a clothes horse for grey flannel and red crocodile skin handbags. Yeesh.

    Le skip this unless you want a story that is supposedly funny but isn’t, a drama that doesn’t exist or a story that eventually goes nowhere it couldn’t have gone in the first ten minutes. Plus, the ending is just so cheap it’s a total hack job. It comes out of nowhere, doesn’t fit the context and is far too convenient. Get back to Le Howard’s End, Mr. Ivory!


    Well, wasted aspect ratio as it is, it still looks pretty fine as far as the shoot goes. Lovely crisp images and solid, vibrant colours at least make this film easy to look at (apart from the wig thing). No artefacts, even flesh tones, good shadow detail and true blacks make this very uncluttered and pretty fine by way of transfer.


    Le Dolby Digital 5.1 surround does an admirable job here by way of clarity and occasional use of the speaker array. Being a talkie, there’s not much call for the surrounds, save your city or café noises or whatever. The dialogue is clear and lapses in and out of French, but the subtitles are quick to accommodate. Sound effects are fine and the music, scored by Richard Robbins, is little more than your usual upbeat romantic comedy sort of crappola. Certainly nothing to write to France about.


    Just like le rental, there’s le nothing here.


    This is an overlong and disappointing film. The story is lacklustre and even the more interesting discussions of artwork technique and history are wasted and underused. The story seems to move to Kate Hudson quite quickly and almost returns to the divorce itself as an afterthought, urgently trying to get back to Kate as soon as possible. Naomi shines, of course, and is in her element speaking fluent French with an accent and using her incredible range to tell her part of the story in much more convincing fashion than the rest of this large and wholly wasted assembly.

    Le Divorce just didn’t really enthuse me greatly after I’d started watching it. Too long, too boring and too hackneyed. Le move along.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3773
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
      And I quote...
    "Le overlong and le hackneyed."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-T29S32S 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
    by Jules Faber

    Narrow Margin
    "Gene Hackman as an action star? It happened… "

    A King in New York: SE
    "Taking a poke at too many demons makes this film a little stilted and not among his best works"

    A Zed and Two Noughts
    "Is it art or is it pornography? Who cares? Both are good."

    Blake's 7 - The Complete Series One
    "Performances are fine, but the flimsy sets, the crappy props and the undisguisable late 70s hairdos are just too much."

    Heavens Above
    "While not amongst some of Sellers’ more confident roles, this one is still up there amidst the more subtle of them…"

      Related Links
      None listed


    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5