Criticism of ‘Madeleine Collins’: Life and parallel mother
Interesting narrative exercise that is pleased to keep the viewer in the weaving (knitting) of a story in which he is always a few steps behind the characters, their behavior and their understanding. Antoine Barraud proposes a double-sided family intrigue in which its protagonist, a woman divided into two houses, two personalities, two families, is lightly but fragrantly scented with the scent of Kim Novak from ‘Vertigo’, if only because she is between the same names, Judy (Judith) and Madeleine; otherwise, its tone, oddities, and atmosphere are closer to Buñuelian than Hitchcockian.
This strange, tense and at times moving character is played by the Belgian actress Virginie Efira, a woman of great physical talents and, due to her latest works, of no lesser acting abilities to daub emotionally on her role.
She recently starred in ‘Benedetta’, by the rowdy Verhoeven, in which she managed to tear her lesbian nun from the vulgarity of topics. Here, with his Judith-Madeleine, he puts emotion where explanation is lacking and makes the intriguing character keep the viewer close for longer than is reasonable.
The harrowing plot jumps from one house in Paris to another in Geneva, of her husband, a conductor (Bruno Solomon), her lover-husband along with their little daughter, a character who plays Quim Gutiérrez, and those jumps that are mysterious to those outside the screen seem natural and understandable to those on the inside: therein lies the intrigue, the drop by drop of suspense that the film is shedding and discovering on the viewer.
As a crazy story, it preserves the essence of its intrigue until almost its denouement, which contains dramas, traumas and an ambiguity of straightness and twisting; and it also retains its quality of the unusual, of the non-vulgar, of the implausible and plausible. Which, together with Virginie Efira, gives him a good reason to see her.