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Every Monday the Journey with Jesus posts a new essay based upon the Biblical Lectionary, a film review, a book review, and a poem or prayer.

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The Journey with Jesus: Film Reviews

Film Reviews by Dan Clendenin

Mademoiselle Chambon (2009)—FranceMademoiselle Chambon (2009) — France

Jean is a construction worker, and his wife Ann-Marie works in a book factory. The blue collar couple might not be able to explain what a direct object is to their son Jeremy when they help him with his grammar homework, but they enjoy a loving marriage. Ann-Marie is dependably cheerful. Jean is openly affectionate with Jeremy, and he cares for his eighty-year-old father by washing his feet and hosting a birthday party. But beneath this placid surface, bit by bit and across the years, Jean has become emotionally distant. He meets his son's teacher, Mademoiselle Chambon, when he repairs a broken window in her home. There's no "action" in this film except for the psychological turmoil that this encounter provokes. Their relationship is stilted and awkward, barely even acknowledged, but their mutual longing is deeply felt. Until the end of the film, it's never clear whether Jean will remain with his pregnant wife and their predictable existence, or leap into the unknown with Mademoiselle Chambon. In French with English sub-titles.