Les bonnes femmes

Arguably the best as well as the most disturbing movie Claude Chabrol has made to date, this unjustly neglected 1960 feature, his fourth, focuses on the everyday lives and ultimate fates of four young women (Bernadette Lafont, Stephane Audran, Clotilde Joano, and Lucile Saint-Simon) working at an appliance store in Paris and longing for better things. Ruthlessly unsentimental yet powerfully compassionate, it shows Chabrol at his most formally inventive, and it exerted a pronounced influence on Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz two decades later. In French with subtitles. 95 min.

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