The Story of Adele H

1975 [FRENCH]

Biography / Drama / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 91%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 7867

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 27, 2021 at 12:33 PM


Bruce Robinson as Lt Albert Pinson
Isabelle Adjani as Adèle Hugo
859.98 MB
fre 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by aimless-46 10 / 10

Truly Extraordinary

Thirty years later it is hard to imagine "The Story of Adele H" without the then twenty-year old Isabelle Adjani as the title character. But at the time Truffaut's decision to cast the young French theatre star was very risky. Not because there was any doubt about Adjani's acting, but because casting someone who was arguably the most beautiful actress in the world as a character driven mad by unrequited love raised a potential credibility issue. Would viewers believe that the advances of a woman so beautiful, passionate, and intelligent were rejected? And could someone like that elicit sympathy from the average viewer.

But Truffaut knew what he was doing because Adjani's Adele Hugo is 100% convincing. And rather than going for audience sympathy they go for audience frustration as the viewer is increasingly exasperated over Adele's self-destructive behavior. Adjani's breathtaking beauty actually is an asset as Truffaut wants us convinced that the world holds open unlimited possibilities for Adele if only see can let go of her obsession. Adjani plays the character with such intensity that you are finally relieved when Adele's madness has reached the stage where she is no longer aware of her own suffering.

Apparently Adele Hugo (Victor Hugo's daughter) had other issues going on well before her obsessive quest for Lt. Pinson's love began. Her sister had drowned and her parents had always strongly favored the sister over Adele. She has recurrent nightmares about drowning and sees marriage to Pinson as the only way to escape from her father. Visually, Truffaut's stays with blacks, browns and blues; with much of each frame filled with shadows; not exactly dreary but consistent with a character who has found little non-fantasy happiness during her life.

The camera loves Adjani, a good thing as she is on screen for over 90% of the film. She was the youngest nominee ever for best actress. It was the best performance of the 1970's, probably no one but Adjani could have conveyed such inner emotional violence. It is that extremely rare visual performance that does not need subtitles or even sound.

As Roger Ebert noted: "Truffaut finds a certain nobility in Adele. He quotes one of the passages in her diaries twice: She writes that she will walk across the ocean to be with her lover. He sees this, not as a declaration of love, but as a statement of a single-mindedness so total that a kind of grandeur creeps into it. Adele was mad, yes, probably - but she lived her life on such a vast and romantic scale that it's just as well Pinson never married her. He would have become a disappointment".

Reviewed by pedroborges-90881 7 / 10

A very tragic life story

The film show's the life of Adèle, the younger daughter of the famous French writer Victor Hugo. Isabelle Adjani portray's the character of Adèle, giving a great performance of a young woman with a extremely obsessive love for a man, trying in every way to stay with him and lose everything in the process, including him and her sanity.

In the film Truffaut choose to don't keep showing every time that she was the daughter of Victor Hugo, which is good, but if you don't have that knowledge, in the first 30 to 40 minutes of the movie you think that is just about a woman who is obsessive about a man who promise things to her and left her after getting what he wants, which is a good simple material for a movie, but when is revealed that she is the daughter of Victor Hugo, is kinda of the movie is trying to give a plot twist that don't really work in my opinion, that's the most negative point of the film for me, but again, for those who go watch the movie with that knowledge, the experience will be better, is just unfortunately that today a lot people don't know about Victor Hugo, they don't even associate him to his most famous work even if you put a book of the Les Misérable in front of their faces, most of them are only going to remember that there is a movie based on that novel.

Reviewed by monimm18 10 / 10

Great depiction of a love's journey from passion to madness

The first time I saw this film (twenty years ago) the thing that impressed me the most was Isabelle Adjani's portrayal of Adele, the natural way in which she conveyed her character's emotions. Seeing it again recently, I was able to better appreciate the film's fine crafting. One can sense Truffaut's hand in the direction, even if it seems a bit different and less complex than other films of his. However, I found this one to be the most haunting of all the Truffaut films I saw. It skillfully depicts Adele's circumstances and her torment without turning into a sentimental melodrama. As her desperation grows, so do her actions turn more and more irrational and outrageous. Yet, there is something about Adele that makes one understand her and feel for her. I credit that to Adjani's talent and the director's vision.

The final scene punched me emotionally and spoke volumes without any of the characters uttering a word to each other: Adele, her mind lost by now, passing by Lt. Pinson without even recognizing him - so consumed with her obsession and grief for her lost love that she forgot who was the cause of her torment. In a way, all she remembered was not Pinson himself, but the idea of being with him.

I think this film is an interesting psychological study. In spite of its character's tragism, it doesn't try to be morally conclusive or emotionally manipulative. Adele seems to be a victim, but is she a victim of another's insensitivity, a victim of circumstances, or a victim of her own emotional instability? Or, is she a victim at all?

Maybe that's why the film elicits such a lasting impression: it leaves enough for the viewers to think about and digest afterwards, and eventually to draw their own conclusions.

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