L'Elève (1996)

Genres - Drama, Historical Film  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Based on a story by Henry James and set in the late 19th century, this complex and irony-laced French costume drama chronicles the convoluted relationship between young Morgan and his highly intelligent tutor Julien. When the 25-year-old Julien is first hired, teen-aged Morgan objects. A power struggle ensues until eventually student and teacher earn each other's grudging respect. The struggle causes a bitter awakening for both Julien, who loses much of his child-like innocence and the more worldly Morgan who has reveled in the false notion of his family's wealth and moral superiority. The truth, that his clan is both morally and financially bankrupt, is devastating to Morgan. Ten years quickly pass and the family is next seen trying desperately to retain its upper-class dignity and lifestyle in Russia.

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Keywords

dysfunctional, family-secrets, student, teacher