The Countess (2009) Poster

The Countess (2009)

  • Rate: 6.2/10 total 2,738 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Drama | History | Horror | Thriller
  • Release Date: 25 June 2009 (Germany)
  • Runtime: Germany:98 min | Germany:94 min (Berlin International Film Festival)
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The Countess (2009)

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  • IMDb page: The Countess (2009)
  • Rate: 6.2/10 total 2,738 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Drama | History | Horror | Thriller
  • Release Date: 25 June 2009 (Germany)
  • Runtime: Germany:98 min | Germany:94 min (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • Filming Location: Brandenburg, Germany
  • Budget: $8,500,000(estimated)
  • Director: Julie Delpy
  • Stars: Julie Delpy, Daniel Brühl and William Hurt
  • Original Music By: Julie Delpy   
  • Plot Keyword: Countess | Virgin | Blood | Hungarian | Looking At Self In Mirror

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Julie Delpy  writer

Known Trivia

  • Ethan Hawke was originally part of the cast.
  • Radha Mitchell (Anna Darvulia) and Vincent Gallo (Dominic Vizakna) were set to star.

Plot: A 17th century Hungarian countess embarks on a murderous undertaking, with the belief that bathing in the blood of virgins will preserve her beauty. |  »

Story: A 17th century Hungarian countess embarks on a murderous undertaking, with the belief that bathing in the blood of virgins will preserve her beauty.

Synopsis

Synopsis: The Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory, wife of General Ferencz Nasady. They lived in the Carpathian mountains in the early 1600’s. Elizabeth was convinced that drinking and bathing in the blood of young virgins would preserve her beauty. Her small army of henchmen roamed the countryside, kidnapping unfortunate girls who were then killed and drained of their blood in Elizbeth’s castle. Convicted in 1611 of murdering at least 50 girls, Bathory was sealed in a room, fed through a hole in the door and lasted 4 years before dying.

 

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Christian Baute known as executive producer
  • Matthew E. Chausse known as producer
  • Julie Delpy known as producer
  • Skady Lis known as executive producer
  • Hengameh Panahi known as co-producer
  • Norbert Preuss known as associate producer
  • Martin Shore known as executive producer
  • Gordon Steel known as executive producer
  • Andro Steinborn known as producer
  • Christopher Tuffin known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Julie Delpy known as Erzebet Bathory
  • Daniel Brühl known as Istvan Thurzo
  • William Hurt known as Gyorgy Thurzo
  • Anamaria Marinca known as Anna Darvulia
  • Sebastian Blomberg known as Dominic Vizakna
  • Adriana Altaras known as Aunt Klara
  • Charly Hübner known as Ferenc Nadasdy
  • Andy Gatjen known as Miklos
  • Maria Simon known as Helena
  • Frederick Lau known as Janos
  • Katrin Pollitt known as Dorothea
  • Anna Maria Mühe known as Bertha
  • Rolf Kanies known as Count Krajevo
  • Christine Mayer known as Kaija
  • Henriette Confurius known as Kayla
  • Helen Woigk known as Nadia
  • Jesse Inman known as King Matthias
  • André Hennicke known as Andreas Berthoni (as André M. Hennicke)
  • Jeanette Hain known as Anna Bathory
  • Robert Schupp known as Gyorgy Bathory
  • Felix Vörtler known as Reverend Matej
  • Nora von Waldstätten known as Kati von Kraj
  • Anna Hausburg known as Kasia von Rosenheim
  • Theresa Schwierske known as Countess 1
  • Robert Lyons known as Count 1
  • Wolfram Koch known as Clockmaker
  • Arnd Klawitter known as Judge
  • Nikolai Kinski known as Teacher
  • Doris Egbring-Kahn known as Old Woman in Park
  • Sean McDonagh known as Gravedigger
  • Erik Hansen known as Bishop
  • Roland Florstedt known as Old Minister
  • Thea Weber known as Maid
  • Steffen Scheumann known as Peasant
  • Lutz Blochberger known as Peasant
  • Georg Prang known as Arresting Guard
  • Ella-Maria Gollmer known as Erzebet Aged 11 (as Ella Maria Gollmer)
  • Paula Hartmann known as Erzebet Aged 6
  • Jack O. Berglund known as Ferenc Nadasky Aged 5 (as Jack Owen Berglund)
  • Natascha Lawiszus known as Anna Aged 16
  • Amber Bongard known as Anna Aged 11
  • Helena Lindemann known as Ursula Aged 14
  • Talia Rosenkranz known as Ursula Aged 9
  • Justus Kammerer known as Paul Aged 11
  • Lukas T. Berglund known as Paul Aged 7
  • Paula Knüpling known as Pola Aged 12 (as Paula Knüppling)
  • Audrey Käthe von Scheele known as Pola Aged 7
  • Undine Rossner known as Dead Girl
  • Sabine Firit known as Maid (uncredited)
  • Lisa Hrdina known as Anna (uncredited)
  • Jakob Knoblauch known as Peasent Boy (uncredited)
  • Armin Sauer known as Lieutenant (uncredited)
  • Ricky Watson known as Party Guest (voice) (uncredited)

..

 

Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Tamar Aviv known as special makeup effects artist
  • Kerstin Gaecklein known as hair stylist
  • Kerstin Gaecklein known as makeup artist
  • Heiko Schmidt known as hair stylist
  • Heiko Schmidt known as makeup artist
  • Jana Schulze known as additional makeup artist
  • Jörn Seifert known as special makeup effects artist

Art Department:

  • Melanie Aßmann known as assistant stand-by props (as Melanie Assman)
  • Lieven Baes known as head painter
  • Thomas Beier known as painter
  • Markus Bendler known as prop buyer
  • Markus Bendler known as property master
  • Herve Bertholi known as set dresser
  • Doris Botwen known as painter
  • Andeas Braunsdorf known as painter
  • Sirk Böttrich known as carpenter
  • Céline De Streel known as set designer
  • Therese Dennhardt known as painter
  • Frank Derpsch known as helping hand construction
  • Vincent Desmecht known as carpenter
  • Lars Dicht known as construction manager
  • Susanne Dietze known as carpenter
  • Stefan Ellsel known as helping hand construction
  • Jürgen Engelhardt known as carpenter
  • Kadi Fast known as painter
  • Hannes Heiner known as torture machine
  • Christian Hochtritt known as armourer
  • Christian Hochtritt known as assistant stand-by props
  • Brita Hofmann known as painter
  • Frank Jentzsch known as metal works
  • Axel Kahnt known as stand-by props
  • Patrick Lange known as carpenter
  • Alexander Liebenthron known as assistant prop buyer
  • Detlef Lillrich known as helping hand construction
  • Robert Makolies known as painter
  • Ulrich Mieves known as carpenter
  • Jana Müller known as painter
  • Martin Müller-Lehmann known as carpenter
  • Thomas Nietzold known as helping hand construction
  • Roman Petrasch known as helping hand construction
  • Arvid Piasek known as carpenter
  • Ole Rocholi known as torture machine
  • Uwe Roscher known as carpenter
  • Matthias Röder known as set constructor (as Mathias Röder)
  • Günther Sand known as carpenter
  • Tom Schulz known as carpenter
  • Christoph Sieber known as sculpturer
  • Matthias Sieber known as carpenter
  • Laurent Stoffyn known as construction manager
  • Anja Stolakis known as helping hand construction
  • David Thummerer known as stand-by props: second unit
  • Jan Van Den Bussche known as carpenter
  • Brita Hofmann known as sculptor (uncredited)
  • Robert Makolies known as carpenter (uncredited)
  • Robert Makolies known as sculptor (uncredited)

..

 

Company

Production Companies:

  • Celluloid Dreams
  • EMC Filmproduktion (co-production)
  • Fanes Film (co-production)
  • Mirabelle Pictures
  • Social Capital
  • Steel Company, The
  • Tempête Sous un Crâne
  • X-Filme Creative Pool (co-production)
  • X-Filme (as X Filme International)

Other Companies:

  • ARRI Sound  sound re-recording
  • Agentur Irene Heyroth & Jacqueline Rietz GbR  children's casting
  • Berliner Synchron Wenzel Lüdecke  sound post-production
  • Casting-Agentur Schubert  children's casting
  • Les Ateliers du Costume  costumes: main cast (as Les Ateliers du Costume, Paris)
  • London Session Orchestra, The  orchestra (uncredited)
  • MITTEKIND  children's casting
  • Sastrería Teatral Cornejo, Madrid  costume rentals (as Sasteria Cornejo, Madrid)
  • Theaterkunst  costume rentals (as Theaterkunst, Berlin)
  • Tonstudio Hanse Warns  foley stage

Distributors:

  • Bac Films (2010) (France) (theatrical)
  • Hollywood Entertainment (2010) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • X Verleih AG (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Amero PT (2009) (Indonesia) (all media)
  • Atlantic Film (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Benelux Film Distribution (2009) (Netherlands) (all media)
  • Bir Film (2009) (Turkey) (all media)
  • CCV (2009) (Denmark) (all media)
  • CCV (2009) (Finland) (all media)
  • CCV (2009) (Norway) (all media)
  • CCV (2009) (Sweden) (all media)
  • Celluloid Dreams (2009) (worldwide) (all media)
  • Cinema Mondo (2009) (Finland) (all media)
  • Empire Film Group (2009) (USA) (all media)
  • Italia Film (2009) (Middle East) (all media)
  • Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2008) (Portugal) (all media)
  • Lusomundo (2009) (Portugal) (all media)
  • MFI (2009) (South Korea) (all media)
  • Magna Pacific (2008) (Australia) (all media)
  • Midget Entertainment (2009) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Mongrel Media (2010) (Canada) (DVD)
  • New Films (2008) (Bulgaria) (all media)
  • Noori Pictures (2007) (South Korea) (all media)
  • Pa-Dora D.O.O. (2008) (Hungary) (all media)
  • Pa-Dora D.O.O. (2009) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • Soyuz (2008) (Russia) (all media)
  • Strada Productions (2009) (Greece) (all media)
  • VideoFilmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)

..

 

Other Stuff

Visual Effects by:
  • Andreas Alesik known as digital artist
  • Marius Herzog known as digital artist
  • Nina Knott known as visual effects producer
  • Marcel Knüdeler known as digital artist
  • David Laubsch known as digital compositor
  • Abraham Schneider known as senior compositor: ARRI
  • Jürgen Schopper known as creative director: VFX
  • Tobias Wiesner known as digital compositor: ARRI Digital Film

Release Date:

  • Germany 9 February 2009 (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • Japan 13 March 2009 (Festival du Film Français au Japon)
  • Turkey 8 April 2009 (Istanbul Film Festival)
  • Denmark 18 April 2009 (CPHPIX Festival)
  • Germany 25 June 2009
  • Switzerland 30 June 2009 (Neuchâtel International Fantasy Film Festival)
  • Austria 17 July 2009
  • South Africa 29 July 2009 (Durban International Film Festival)
  • Turkey 31 July 2009
  • Finland 7 August 2009
  • Spain 2 October 2009 (Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • Belgium 15 October 2009 (Gent International Film Festival)
  • Hungary 15 October 2009 (limited)
  • Sweden 26 November 2009 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
  • South Korea 3 December 2009
  • Slovenia 24 December 2009
  • Hungary 20 January 2010
  • France 21 April 2010
  • USA 15 June 2011 (Video On Demand)

..

 
 

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , , .

9 Comments

  1. (rnl-otto) from Germany
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    I did not regard "The countess" as a historical or a horror movie. Irather saw it as a portrait of a woman. I think the movie wants to showthe very destructive effect falling in love can have when a person isvery insecure and does not have the ability to reflect its ownbehavior. In some way that connects to "2 days in Paris" which alsodealt with the difficulties of love. The movie also had a feminist sideto me: on the one hand it deals with the obsession of beauty (a kind offemale issue, also an issue that matters especially to actresses). Thecountess crosses ethic limits to gain or keep beauty and youth – maybean analogy to plastic surgery. The murderers committed by the countessare also compared to war: is it better to kill for power than forbeauty? A political view is that the countess is not mainly suedbecause she has committed crimes but because her power is so huge thatmany people are happy to get rid of her (which is how politic stillsometimes works nowadays). Regarding these facets the countess is aparable to human behavior today. It does not want to be a historicalmovie. I still can see that especially Hungarians are annoyed when theysee (and hear)non-Hungarian actors in this movie speaking English (eventhough the actors are not English) and saying Hungarian names in anon-Hungarian way. As i said before it is not a historical movie andthe setting should just be regarded as a frame. I also remember readingan interview with Julie Delpy quite some years ago where she complainsabout not getting any roles in the US because her accent is "toofrench". I think mixing actors from different countries she wants toshow (or find out) that (or if) a movie can work even though there isan international cast. Regarding the countess as a parable i think thatcan work. But as my boyfriend does not like watching movies in Englishwe watched the dubbed German version and i really don't know if theaccents would have bothered me… Anyways i can see the movie does notreally fit a genre so i understand people have troubles with it. Iprefer not to think in genres and categories too much – if you do sotoo I think you will be able to enjoy this movie.

  2. streep82 from Turkey
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    this is very well made, true to the history, geography and atmosphereof the place where the story takes place. also very well played, esp byJulie Delpy who already is known for her convincing but modest acting.Costumes and art decoration were superior. The story was told well too,considering it's telling a rather controversial story and that the maincharacter is an anti-hero.Still it's very successful in reflecting thecontroversies in history telling and discussions about historians,heroes and storytellers by saying they're the real devil. Watch itdefinitely and compare it to other historic movies, you'll sense thedifference…

  3. Radu_A
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    If one could rate a film owing entirely to the versatility of itscreator, The Countess would be 10 out of 10. Julie Delpy didn't justhelm her most ambitious project to date, she gives a carefullyreserved, effective performance, she composed a befitting score, shehad an active part in costume design, and her script gives the rightangles at the right places. Why then does the final result impress solittle, unlike her wonderful debut "2 Days in Paris"?

    Reason One: Insufficient voice coaching. You may think that's a minordetail – wait until you've watched this film in its original English.With the four main characters coming from four different countries, onewould assume that their English accents would be balanced by someone -nope. The dialogue sounds awkward and sort of trashy. Julie Delpy's owncute French-American sounds odd in this somber tale; Daniel Brühl'sGerman-American accent is so ridiculous that one expects him topronounce 'I vont tu sukk ur bluhd' any second. William Hurt, being theseasoned pro that he is, smoothed his own accent to fit into hismorose, cunning character, making him sound more European than theEuropeans. Anamaria Marinca obviously had some serious vocal training,which elevates her performance, whereas Delpy and Brühl's romancescenes give off a feeling of unbalance and weirdness.

    Reason Two: Daniel Brühl. Well, this is a French-German co-production,so I guess that, as the unwritten rules of Eurofilm prescribe, therehas to be a German lead. And Brühl could be considered a star. Yet hedoes not have the stamina to carry such a part; he mostly acts as abystander. He's not even pretty, as he looks quite sick. And accordingto an interview I've read, Delpy isn't totally innocent of Brühl'slook, since she mentioned that she didn't want him to shape up.

    Reason Three: German production values. The main production companyinvolved in this project is Tom Tykwer's X-Filme, so this movie feelsvery German. If you've watched The Perfume, you know what that meansfor dramas like this one: a certain stiffness in tackling emotionalcontent and rather Spartan set design. The Iron Maiden, which theCountess uses to bleed her virgin victims dry, is about the onlyvisually interesting detail. The continuity is muffled, too; forinstance, the escape scene of a little girl, one of the rare moments ofsuspense, is almost instantly killed off, quite literally, not allowingfor goosebumps to build.

    It's OK that Julie Delpy makes a clear departure from the romanticfluffy stuff of her past. It's impressive how versatile she's become asa film maker. But given her talent for intelligent comedy, I wonder ifa less serious subject wouldn't have benefited her versatility more.This not-really period piece and not-really horror flick will satisfynobody and keep audiences wonder how much more it could have been withanother approach.

  4. Cruiz Dwyer (sinncross@gmail.com) from South Africa
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    In the 17th Century, the Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory (JulieDelpy) and her husband, General Ferenc Nadasdy (Jack Berglund), areregarded as one of the most powerful couples in Hungary. Soon afterNadasdy's death, Elizabeth begins a passionate relationship with IstvanThurzo (Daniel Bruhl), who is nearly 20 years her junior. When Istvanleaves her, she believes it is because of her age. This ultimatelyleads to her believing that the blood of virgin girls can help herremain youthful, and Elizabeth starts a mysterious killing spree tosatisfy her vanity.

    The issue surrounding Elizabeth Bathory makes for an interestingnarrative in the cinematic format. The story is told in a rather linearfashion, beginning with Elizabeth as a child and how politics deemedwho she should marry in her older age. Politics is perhaps the bestdealt with theme in the film: while not shown in a refreshing manner,politics still has an overriding importance into understanding howarranged marriages were so important for families in regards to gainingnew ties and allies and, more importantly, how these marriagesultimately develop characters in order to enrich the story. Yet it isdisappointing that nothing helps strengthen the plot: the life ofElizabeth Bathory is open to much speculation with there being a debateas to whether she really is the 'Blood Countess' or whether she wastrapped in a political conspiracy. But none of this is even questioneduntil the very end of the story, but by then it is so incrediblyobvious that the filmmakers have wanted to portray Elizabeth as acold-hearted murderer, that the alternate paradigm briefly introducedserves little purpose. Another problem with the narrative is how thefilm's underlying philosophy, as emphasized by a voice over from Istvanat the very start of the film, is in conflict with the film's mainstory. Istvan believes that the true story of Elizabeth was neverrevealed but as shown from the films intention, it clearly is.

    There is a reasonably strong cast in the film but it never shows. BothDelpy and Bruhl lack emotion and their portrayed relationship is notany better. In Delpy's defence it can be argued that her characterlacked any real emotion but nevertheless, there is nothing reallycompelling about the performance. William Hurt features at pointsthroughout the film but he rarely makes much of an impact. The best ofthe lot is Annamaria Marcina who feels more believable then herco-stars, and does a good job as a supporting actress.

    Julie Delpy does shine in her role as director with the film being, forthe most part, eloquently shot. There are some interesting scenes ofsymbolism with the heightened ominous atmosphere of the film startingoff early and is carried along until the end. Considering the subjectmatter, the film is neither as gory or bloody as you would expect, butthe acts of cruelness still have a haunting presence to them, and Delpymust be congratulated for this. Likewise the musical score appears tocompliment the film though is forgettable by the end, and the costumedesign has a real sense of reality to them though they lackextravagance as shown in other similar period films.

    Sex is implied with upper female nudity appearing at times in the firsthalf of the narrative. Language is almost unheard of but violence isshown in various manners: there is some decapitation, and piercing ofskin from sharp items. None of the violence is lingered upon but theirbuildup has a threatening quality to them; blood does appearthroughout.

    The Countess is a surprisingly average film with a good sense oftechnical techniques being weighed down by some weak showcases ofacting and a confused directional narrative. The beginning attempts tosetup the film as a mystery thriller, something to get audiencesdebating the accuracy of events, but ultimately the film is soconclusive with what it wants audiences to believe that the film getsmuddled up in its own creative process. It is an interesting movie withan exciting subject at its helm, but it is nonetheless a flawed filmthat just never gets going.

    -(Durban International Film Festival 2009)

  5. jshoaf from Florida
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    Well, actually, in the Little Carpathians, apparently, which are notpart of Transylvania, or so Wikipedia tells me.

    I really enjoyed this film (at home on pay-per-view)though I think itis intended for a pretty narrow audience. As others have noted, thedialogue is amazingly stilted (very literary, rather like a Frenchnovel of the 17th or 18th century) and delivered in near-monotone. Ikept feeling that the whole movie had been dubbed into English. On theother hand, I found the acting very fine, and I admired the insistenceon presenting these characters as not at all like you, me, or the folksin the latest TV drama. The Countess in particular is a strange, uniqueportrait–her piety, her desire for amorous adventure, her pride, herintelligence. And that's before you get to the blood-of-virgins part.

    The film proposes that what we are seeing before our eyes is not thetruth about the Countess. We are watching a fantasy of a noblewomanenacting a tale "told by the victors"–by the men who were enriched byher downfall and relieved, too, to be rid of the very possibility of anintelligent woman. The tale is told, too, by the peasants and otherswhose sons are fighting in her army. Yet the man who questions the gorystory is her lover, and he too may be deceived. There is no simpleanswer to the question, what really happened?–no resolution.

    In short, it's an intellectual (and visual) treat, but it won't affectyour blood sugar.

  6. dbdumonteil
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    Julie Delpy gives her own vision (through an innocent young man's eyeswho would have been one of her numerous -male and female-lovers)of anefarious figure of history .her direction is icily impersonal buteffective .Her hieratic cold look gives the jitters for her acting isrestrained.Unlike Walerian Borowczyk's segment of "Les Heroines DuMal"(1979) in which Paloma Picasso played an "erotic " countess withnudity galore,"the countess" has few bed scenes and few gore clichés-and with THAT subject,it is much to Delpy's credit.Her directing isnot feminine at all (as Agnès Varda's or Jane Campion's are) and hercharacter has the mind of a man :political power,women and men treated-with one exception- as sexual objects .She wouldn't sacrifice a virginlad cause ,she says , God created man in his own image .She remainedpious even in living in the most awful sin!

    The atmosphere which is depicted does not square with reality,if youread one of her biographies:she lived in a lugubrious castle ,in a coldarea,and she suffered from chronic migraines which almost never gaveher any respite.

  7. gradyharp from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    Writer/director/producer/musical scorer/actress Julie Delpy brings tothe screen a character from history that few know. The film is based onthe true history of the woman known as The Blood Countess, but afterviewing this film it is obvious that the actual figure on whom thestory is based was a brilliant political mind, a woman of noblebreeding who could read and write in four languages, who once widowedwas able to successfully defend her lands from the warring Turks andexact control over the reigning Hungarian King Matthias. But back tothe history of the character as written by Delpy. 'Countess ElizabethBáthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian) (1560 – 1614) was acountess from the renowned Báthory family of Hungarian nobility. She isconsidered the most prolific female serial killer in history andpossibly the most prolific of any gender. She and four collaboratorswere accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls, with onewitness attributing to them over 650 victims, though the number forwhich they were convicted was 80. Erzsébet herself was neither triednor convicted. In 1610, however, she was imprisoned in the CsejteCastle, where she remained bricked in a set of rooms until her deathfour years later. Later writings about the case have led to legendaryaccounts of the Countess bathing in the blood of virgins in order toretain her youth.'

    The film opens with voice over by István Thurzó (Daniel Brühl) whorelates the story of his only love. We are privy to the strangebehaviors of the young Erzsébet who had a sadistic streak and was atbirth promised to be the bride of Ferenc Nádasdy (Charly Hübner). Shebecame a beautiful woman and Erzsébet (Julie Delpy) married GeneralNádasdy, gave birth to children, and together they were the powercouple of Hungary. When Nádasdy dies, Erzsébet meets and fallspassionately in love with István Thurzó (Daniel Brühl), a many 19 yearsher junior, but Istvan's father György Thurzó (William Hurt) preventsIstvan from remaining with Erzsébet. Left alone Erzsébet remains apowerful warrior, dallies with the sadomasochistic Dominic Vizakna(Sebastian Blomberg), but fears her young lover will forget her if sheages. She discovers that the blood from virgins will restore her youthand thus begins the serial killings to support her vanity. As questionsof debts owed to her by the King there is an investigation of herpersonal history led by György Thurzó and without proper trial she iscondemned to house arrest in darkened sealed rooms in her own CsejteCastle where her fate is sealed.

    The film is beautifully designed, costumed, photographed and scored,and Delpy manages to pace her story credibly and well. For this viewerthere is an absence of gritty passion that would make the history moreindelible: Delpy and the remainder of the cast fail to create fieryon-screen chemistry that would have brought a sense of stronger impetusto the heinous acts that occur. But as a piece of rarely known historyit is a fascinating film about a strong woman of the past and theimpact she had on her country … and on legends!

    Grady Harp

  8. Kiditout from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    The legend of the Red Countess, like that of Dracula and so many othershas yielded several theatrical and film adaptations. The challenge isto make something new with this ancient legend, and to try to be equalto the great directors who brilliantly tackled the subject. Julie Delpylikes challenges of this kind. Not only did she write the script,direct, act, and compose the music, but her adaptation can compete withwhat I thought was the best previous film adaptation of the legend byWalerian Borowczyk (from the collection called Immoral Tales, and withPaloma Picasso). Delpy acknowledges her debt to this director through anumber of details that those familiar with Borowczyk's works canrecognize. Another great reference is Coppola's Dracula, of which Delpyborrowed the lyrical and tragic tones. Of course,this can only situateDelpy's aesthetic choices, and much of her originality rests in herinterpretation of the legend. Here, she blends her own speculationsabout the Countess's character and motivation with historical facts, tomake a new and provocative statement about the legend. The best way tosee this film is to compare it with the other adaptations not as muchto see who spent the money the most intelligently, but what eachdirector has to say through the same legend.

  9. Hunters_Souffle from New Jersey
    30 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

    I really wanted to like this. Based on the true story of 17th centuryCountess Bathory, who grew obsessed with retaining her youth, anddecided the best way to do this was by bathing in the blood of virgins.What could have been a disturbing descent into madness turns out to bea dull by the numbers bio-pic/period piece.

    Julie Delpy does an alright job in the titular role, but the departurefrom her usual romantic roles doesn't really work, as Delpy just seemslike she's on auto-pilot throughout most of the film. The script,written by Delpy, treats the Countess as some sort of feminist pioneer,and at other times, shows her to be a monster. The movie wants to haveit both ways, but in the end it it just seems really confused andtiresome.

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