La Bête Humaine
Drama | French with English subtitles | 100 minutes
Jacques Lantier is a railroad engineer who finds his work helps distract him from his recurring headaches, seizures, and violent rages. Traveling on Lantier’s train heading to Le Havre from Paris, is Grandmorin, a man having an affair with Séverine, stationmaster Roubaud’s wife. Entering his compartment, Roubaud and Séverine kill Grandmorin. Lantier notices the two in the train corridor at the time of the crime but does not reveal this to the police. Séverine is grateful for Lantier’s cover-up. She fears Roubaud, who has lapsed into depression after the murder, will kill her next. Séverine reveals this fear to Lantier and urges him to kill Roubaud before he kills her. But Lantier is not a murderer. This triggers a seizure that ends in tragedy for Lantier.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 93%
- 75th Venice Film Festival, Winner, Golden Lion
- Ten Academy Award Nominations. Winner: Best Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Cinematographer (Alfonso Cuarón)
- Festivals: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York
Best Film of 2018: Time Magazine and The New York Film Critics Circle
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LA BÊTE HUMAINE has endured the years and is still as relevant and as watchable as ever. Matinee idol Gabin’s performance in particular is outstanding, playing a crazed killer with surprising ease.
It is a simple story; a macabre, grim and oddly-fascinating story. And deep down is admiration for Renoir’s ability to seduce us into a mood tinged with horror and an uncomfortable sense of dread.
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