AUTUMN LEAVES (Robert Aldrich, 1956)

Robert Aldrich was named best director at Berlin for this melodramatic soap opera starring Joan Crawford as Millie Wetherby, a heavily guarded spinster who is charmed into marriage by a boy young enough to be her son. Millie knows little about Burt Hanson; it turns out he was previously married to Virginia, who cheated on […]

THERESE (Alain Cavalier, 1986)

Like Tennyson’s “The Holy Grail,” Thérèse studies the religious impulse as sublimated sexuality—or, for one of the cloistered Carmelites, a socially accepted retreat from the “ugly [world] outside.” Alain Cavalier’s brilliant film marshals Rembrandt lighting and earth-tones for its portrait of Thérèse Martin, who was canonized as St. Thérèse of Lisieux in 1925, less that […]