Bridesmaid (La Demoiselle d’Honneur): Directed by Claude Chabrol

In a career that spans almost fifty years, Claude Chabrol, one of the French New Wave leaders, has meticulously explored the darker, seamy underside of the seemingly civilized and orderly world of the French middle class.

Once again adapting a novel by Ruth Rendell (whose “A Judgment in Stone became his film “La Céremonie”) Chabrol tells the story of Philippe Tardieu (Benoît Magimel), an ambitious but straitlaced young man living with his mother and two sisters near the Atlantic coast. His older sister, Sophie, is getting married, and it’s at her wedding that Philippe meets Senta, one of the bridesmaids.

Their attraction is mutual, and soon they get together, but the more time he spends with her, the more he begins to wonder about her. Their passion is real, but Senta seems given to telling fantastic tales. When one day she asks Philippe for a “terrible proof” of his love, Philippe must come to terms with who his lover might really be.

Senta is well played by Laura Smet, the daughter of Nathalie Baye and Johnny Hallyday who made a strong impression in Xavier Giannoli’s “Eager Bodies.”

Directed by Claude Chabrol
Running time: 110 Minutes