International screen star Isabelle Adjani (The Story Of Adele H., Ishtar) is the creative prodigy Camille Claudel. GÃ(c)rard Depardieu (Green Card, Cyrano de Bergerac) is thelegendary sculptor Rodin. This is the true story... more » of their passionate obsession with artand with each other. Both an inspiring saga of artistic vision and the haunting portrayal of a doomed romance, Camille Claudel is a beautiful and stirring cinematic masterpiece. A historically accurate depiction of one of the most important collaborations in the history of modern art, Camille Claudel was nominated for the 1989 Academy AwardÂ(r) for Best Foreign Language Film,and Adjani was nominated for the 1989 OscarÂ(r) for Best Actress for her riveting portrayalof the beautiful young woman who sacrifices her talents to flames of passion.« less
"A few years ago, on a beautiful sunny March day, I visited the house and grounds of the Rodin museum, formerly the home of Auguste Rodin. The museum sits very near a hospital Napoleon commissioned and is in a central tourist area, but it was not overrun with tourists the day I visited. The weather was so nice, I decided to have lunch in the pavillion on the grounds and eventually spent half a day wondering around the various scuptures situated indoors and outside. The 'Thinker' sat contemplating a nearby bush while a little bird landed on his shoulder, and Balzac looked down in triump from his pedestal. But, inside the house, I found a little room dedicated to the work of Camille Claudel, and here I paused the longest. It struck me then that while Rodin dealt with the external, Claudel dealt with the internal--the soul. I'm a small fan of sculpture, but the marble pieces Claudel worked with her hands are amazing. "Life-like" does not say enough. One piece, a marble bust of a child's head and shoulders took my breath away. I kept waiting for the child to breathe. I checked to see if she was breathing. The only pieces I have seen that are comparable were executed by Micheangelo.The film CAMILLE CLAUDEL is worthy of the heroine and her sad story. Rodin treated her badly, if for no other reason than he had no right to become sexually involved with her when she was his employee and he was a married man. Today he would be locked up for sexual harrassment, and Claudel would not spend most of her life locked up because she became "hysterical" after he dumped her. But, Rodin's greatest sin may have been that he became involved with Claudel because he recognized her genius and he wanted to exploit it. Although Rodin certainly had some interesting ideas, which he managed to execute in a prolific way (the Rodin house shows a continuous and ridiculous film of Rodin "creating" a sculpture), I don't think he was terribly innovative. In fact, if the "Thinker" had not been made into book ends, most people would probably not know who Rodin was. Isabel Adjani plays Claudel. She is perfectly cast as Camille, and her performance is as stunning as it was in Queen Margo. Adjani is one of France's best living actresses--in fact, I think she is the best. Gerhard Depardieu plays Rodin, and he well cast as the large, beefy, inarticulate, egocentric artist. In fact, he looks exactly like the man in the little film I saw in Paris, just as Adjani looks like the Claudel from her portraits. The film was shot in Paris, and much of the footage taken at the Rodin museum, a Chateau constructed by a 18th Century Aristocrat who died at the hands of Madame Guilliotine. Buy the film and then visit the Rodin museum in Paris to see Claudel's work."
WARNING: DVD IS CUT BY 13 MINUTES!
HH | Sherman Oaks, CA USA | 07/23/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This USA butchered DVD release has 13 minutes cut from it, excluding major plot points, whole sequences, violence, nudity and characters. This is NOT a review of the film, merely this substandard, shoddy MGM release. The UNCUT version on DVD is available in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, basically everywhere in the world but here!"
Passionate, Creative and Tragic, A True Art Movie
V. Marshall | North Fork, CA USA | 05/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I began watching this film on a late night of insomnia....it didn't help me to sleep and that's a good thing!Isabelle Adjani artfully plays real life French sculpturess, Camille Claudel. She displays pure emotion and passionate reactions such that she is completely believable as the tragic yet talented Claudel. Claudel becomes Auguste Rodin's assistant and eventual lover/muse. They fight and compete for fame together and seperately with Claudel always the more talented but underscored by Rodin's jealously and fierce connections to the art world. In the end Claudel succumbs to a broken and ravaged heart betrayed in many ways by her one true love, Rodin. I recently returned from a trip to Paris and having seen first hand the sculptures created by Claudel and Rodin I am even more impressed with this tragic story of talented yet conflicted artists. To see the obvious gentleness with which Claudel can carve marble and to feel the warmth that stems from a slab of cold stone left me mesmerized by her talent. Rodin appears clumsy and inept next to her creations despite his world reknown fame. I will always wonder what a woman of her talent could have created had she been alive today and not under the influence of an egotistical maniac!"
The tragedy of madness
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 02/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Camille Claudel was a sculptor in a time when women were discouraged from art - and especially from that most muscular of arts, sculpture. Such was her genius, though, that she was accepted as Rodin's student. He supported her career, both as his assitant and as an artist in her own right. Some people say that her skill outstripped even his.
Why, then, is her work so little known today? Certainly not because it's appeal faded with time. It still has all the power to move a viewer that it ever did. The reason is probably that there was so very little of her work, and even less extant today. Her career lasted only a few of her adult years. Illness of mind drove her from the people and venues that supported her, and drove her to destroy much of her own work. In the end, illness left her unable even to care for herself. She was hospitalized in 1913, and died in 1943 without regaining her sanity, her freedom, or her career.
This lovely movie documents her life up to 1913. It shows her early promise, her rise to success, and her collapse into incapacity. The basic historical facts, to the best of my knowledge, are sound, but may have been stretched in a few places. Her relationship with Rodin is shown, but may not have been given the emphasis it warranted. Her removal to the hospital for the insane is shown, too, but may not have been the peaceable affair displayed here. No matter. Claudel the artist deserves the attention, and Claudel the woman leaves us asking what wonders that illness stole from her and from history.
wiredweird | 03/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Adjani is one of the most passionate performers I have ever seen. There are two scenes where she yells at Rodin that are very dramatic and emotional and you feel her pain, one is where she is yelling at him in her studio and another where she is yelling his name outside his home. Depardieu is amazing as Rodin. I don't speak French and followed by the subtitles. I would have never known "Camille Claudel" existed until this movie. She was brilliant, passionate, and it's a shame that she was driven mad by Rodin because she would have been the "female Michelangelo" but wound up spending her last years in a mental institution and most of her sculptures ruined and destroyed by her madness. A must see!"