CIFF 2021- “Madeleine Collins” Is a Twisty, Adulterous Thriller: Film Capsule Review

After a near century of cinema villainizing the cheating woman, Antoine Barraud’s Madeleine Collins is part of a new wave of films that seek recontextualize the age old trope.

We initially find Judith (Virginie Efira) struggling to maintain her double life; one with her two boys and famous conductor husband, Melvil (Bruno Salomone), and the other with her lover, Abdel (Quim Gutiérrez) and their young daughter. It’s a scenario that feels out of a lost screenplay from classical Hollywood.

However, with every twist and turns come the full realization of Judith’s humanity. There may be one too many twists (I had to take notes to keep up with them all), but Madeleine Collins is the most rewarding kind of thriller; one that you want to watch time and time again to understand the depth of these characters.

The Silver Lining

Virginie Efira is radiant as the complex heartbreaker, Judith. Efira’s natural beauty and gracefully confident gait casually disarms the audience. However, the way thay Efira constantly shifts her eyes, as though she’s calculating her every move, makes us questions her motives at the same time. It’s a performance that relies more on facial expression than line delivery, of which Efira excels at both.

Madeleine Collins is a part of the Chicago International Film Festival’s 2021 lineup. Buy your tickets for the in-person (Sat, Oct. 23) or virtual (now until Oct. 24th) screenings now!

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