Le Divorce [DVD] [2003]

The team of Merchant/Ivory forgo their commonly used classical stories to adapt this novel, set in contemporary Paris, by Diane Johnson. The movie, little seen, may be helped by the home video release, but this DVD wouldn't be the reason to see it. If it wasn't for a wonderful transfer, with both 2.35:1 and pan and scan versions available on the same disc, there would be little going for this title. The picture is quite good though, with superb use of color throughout, and a particularly strong focus on a natural appearance. Paris has never looked more beautiful. The sound, offering both Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in English and French (with subtitles at the right times) is primarily focused up front, with only a sporadic tease of the surrounds. Nothing more would be expected though for this dialogue driven film. What is truly missing though is the supplements, which are simply non-existent. Other than some colorful animated menus, nothing, not even the films trailer, is included. Le Divorce is an odd, not always interesting nor satisfying blend of humor and drama. As with the movie, this disc isn't necessarily interesting or satisfying either.
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Special Features

  • Original trailer
  • Closed Captioned


Le Divorce
Based on the 1997 National Book Award-nominated novel of the same name by Diane Johnson (co-writer of the script for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining), Le Divorce is a romantic comedy from director James Ivory. Revisiting the "Americans in France" theme that Ivory explored in 1998's A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, the film stars Kate Hudson as Isabel Walker. When she receives word that her pregnant poetess sister Roxy (Naomi Watts) has been left by her philandering French husband, artist Charles-Henri de Persand (Melvil Poupaud), Isabel offers her help and moral support. As the depressive Roxy struggles with the separation proceedings -- which include the rights to ownership of a work of art that's a family heirloom -- Isabel takes a job with author Olivia Pace and has a fling with the bohemian Yves (Romain Duris). But things get complicated when the younger, more impudent sister decides instead to pursue Charles' uncle, the snooty, married diplomat Edgar (Thierry Lhermitte), and when a mysterious man (Matthew Modine) starts stalking Roxy. Eventually, the rest of the plucky Walker clan has to come to the aid of the siblings. Stockard Channing and Sam Waterston co-star. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Kate Hudson
    Kate Hudson - Isabel Walker
  • Naomi Watts
    Naomi Watts - Roxeanne de Persand
  • Jean-Marc Barr
    Jean-Marc Barr - Maitre Bertram
  • Leslie Caron
    Leslie Caron - Suizanne de Persand
  • Stockard Channing
    Stockard Channing - Margreeve Walker
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