May 17, 2022

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Think Shopping & Women

How to Be a Very good Spouse: Juliette Binoche shines in address for French farce lovers

3 min read

How to Be a Good Wife (M, 109minutes) Directed by Martin Provost ***½

For more than two a long time, Alsace’s prestigious Van der Beck’s College of Housekeeping and Superior Manners has been coaching teenage ladies to turn into best housewives.

On the other hand, these days the numbers enrolling have been falling, as the Swinging ‘60s means French women are more and more marching to the conquer of a pretty diverse drum.

With its progressively outdated mandate and curriculum (despite its patron even now currently being Yvonne de Gaulle, the wife of France’s president Charles), it has struggled to hold up with the altering times.

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Among the 15 pupils embarking on the patented two-yr programme to learn “the seven pillars to delight their upcoming husbands” is 1 that has cookery tutor Gilberte (Yolande Moreau) and spiritual advisor Marie-Thérèse (Naomie Lvovsky) considerably vexed.

“We have a redhead,” frets Gilberte. “She’ll convert the sauces.”

Worried that she’ll also jinx the university, Marie-Thérèse gives to nail a cross earlier mentioned her bed.

Juliette Binoche plays the headmistress of Alsace’s prestigious Van der Beck’s School of Housekeeping and Good Manners in How to Be a Good Wife.


Juliette Binoche plays the headmistress of Alsace’s prestigious Van der Beck’s College of Housekeeping and Very good Manners in How to Be a Very good Wife.

Headmistress Paulette (Juliette Binoche) while, has no these types of fears, dismissing their objections as superstitions – that is right until her spouse Robert (François Berléand) fatally chokes on a rogue bone in the rabbit stew organized by this year’s class.

Worse continue to, a write-up-mortem investigation into the school’s funds he so intently guarded reveals they are a lot more than 20,000 Francs in personal debt, funds gambled absent on a substantial quantity of horse races.

As Paulette contemplates ruination and closure, aid comes from an unforeseen source, lender manager André Grunvald (Edouard Baer). But, as a previous beau who however retains a candle for her, his assistance will occur at a cost.

Subtlety is certainly not du jour in this fast-paced, somewhat chaotic period comedy.


Subtlety is definitely not du jour in this fast-paced, fairly chaotic time period comedy.

A kind of a cross concerning St Trinians and Simply call the Midwife, How to Be a Good Spouse is a excellent midwinter treat for fans of French farce.

The luminous Binoche and corporation deliver heightened performances that make the most of writers Martin Provost (who also directs) and Severine Werba’s broad-humoured script. Subtlety is most unquestionably not du jour in this speedy-paced, relatively chaotic period comedy.

Significantly of the humour though, actually arrives from Paulette and her fellow teachers’ “advice” to their younger rates, although the costuming and production layout is top-notch.

The very little-little bit-as well-tidy ending and musical denouement might be as well significantly for some, but there are absolutely ample memorable moments – and Binoche – to make this worth thinking about venturing out for.

In French with English subtitles.

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