Charles Cohen’s Cohen Media Group has acquired the American rights to the new French film “Diary of a Chambermaid.” The deal was struck at The Berlin Film festival.
“Journal d’une femme de chamber, ” is based on a novel by Octave Mirbeau and was first produced in 1964 by Spanish-born filmmaker Luis Buñuel, with Jeanne Moreau as a chambermaid who uses her feminine charms to control and advance her situation, in a social setting of corruption, violence, sexual obsession and perversion.
The 2015 French film was directed by Benoît Jacquot, and written by Jacquot and Hélène Zimmer, starring Léa Seydoux as Célestine.
“As the U.S. distributors of ‘Farewell My Queen’ and ‘3 Hearts, ’ Cohen Media Group continues to enjoy our strong relationship with Benoit Jacquot. We are thrilled to present his unique vision of this classic story to a whole new generation, ” said CMG chairman-CEO Charles S. Cohen.
The movie has so far gotten mixed reviews.
Variety said, “Starring an ideally cast Lea Seydoux as the secretive servant of the title, seeking self-advancement at the expense of her snooty employers, the film milks some brisk comedy from its upstairs-downstairs peekaboo, but is too breezy to convince in its depiction of obsessive erotic fixation — making for a “Diary” that oddly feels less exposing as it goes along.
And The Guardian wrote, “It is an odd film: the central relationship between Joseph and Célestine is not entirely plausible, even as a desperate amour fou. But it is well acted and confidently performed. The anti-Semitism is a key to the film’s oppressive atmosphere. The pale, pinched neatness and pleasantness of this bourgeois household conceal a secret poison sac into which all the evil is drained: Vincent’s horrible leaflets, which express what so many respectable folk are thinking. This is a minor, flawed movie, but watchable in its suppressed, pornographic melodrama.”