Celine (Juliet Berto), a magician, and Julie (Dominique Labourier), a librarian, meet in Montmartre and wind up sharing the same flat, bed, finance, clothes, identity and imagination. Soon, thanks to a magic sweet, they find themselves spectators, then participants, in a Henry James-inspired 'film-within-the-film' - a melodrama unfolding in a mysterious suburban house with the 'Phantom Ladies Over Paris' (Bulle Ogier and Marie-France Pisier), a sinister man (Barbet Schroeder) and his child.
- Celine and Julie Go Boating review by NW
External events meant that I could not watch this right through – it is well over three hours long – and I shall try again another day. It is beautifully, if enigmatically, filmed with a delightful dottiness of action which does start rather slow and puzzling. You need to watch in an unhurried mood and I shall certainly return to it.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
- Celine and Julie Go Boating review by MW
A very slow comedy of sorts made all the more ponderous by a plot involving endless repetitions of scenes in which the two kooky heroines learn a little more each time about a fantasy mystery which they conjure up by the sucking of a magic sweet. There's a faint, pleasing whiff of Magritte in the look and absurdity of the movie but this overlong shaggy dog story would have benefited from a seriously ruthless editor.
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
- Celine and Julie Go Boating review by RhysH
Celine (Juliet Bero) and Julie (Dominique Labourier) collide rather than just meet and enter into a strange rather childish relationship. They get caught up in a weird domestic melodrama that repeats and repeats throughout the film. So far so surreal, the lead performances are strong, sometimes I imagine improvised but they don't always capture the sense of strange in the piece, the surreal sometimes becomes just silly.
This is a mid-period picture from Jacques Rivette running for three hours and nine minutes dwarfed by a later work "La Belle Noiseuse" (1991) which runs for four hours and falling well short of a piece conceived for TV, twelve hours and forty minutes.