Portrait of a film: Jean Renoir’s «dramatic fantasy» depicts the provincial French aristocracy with candid humor. From nobles to servants, from a masquerade ball to game hunting, a small community gets giddily caught up in a web of lies, false pleasures and illusory love, and even winds up passing off a murder as an accident. There are no real good guys or bad guys in this technically daring film that breaks narrative codes. Though initially misunderstood and greeted with derision, today it is considered one of the greatest films in the history of cinema.


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