Colonel Chabert (1994)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 23, 1994 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Laura Abraham

What better person to direct a costume drama than a cinematographer? Yves Angelo filmed such great French movies as The Accompanist, A Heart in Winter, and All the Mornings of the World, but had never directed a film. With Colonel Chabert he got his chance, and won best new director at the Cesar awards for his effort. Focusing on the life of a soldier presumed dead, Colonel Chabert is set apart from other historical costume dramas by its stunning cinematography and performances. The camera conveys a feeling of hopelessness and dreariness without sensationalizing the pain. At times, however, Angelo lingers too long on an image when he'd be better off moving to the next scene. Gerard Depardieu is wonderful as a man less concerned with love than he is with power. The tragic intensity Depardieu brings to his character is superbly subtle. In Colonel Chabert Depardieu brings a human dimension to his character as well as his legendary attention to detail. Thoughtfully directed, beautifully filmed, and superbly acted, Colonel Chabert is everything one could hope for in a period film.