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The Old Woman Who Walked In The Sea Review

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★★★★★

In sun-drenched Guadeloupe a couple of rich, elderly con artists - former French glamourpuss Jeanne Moreau's elegant Lady M (who has a habit of walking fully clothed into the sea) and Michel Serrault's poetically inclined Pompilius - gently blackmail an adulterous couple.

When Lady M, infatuated with Lambert, a hunky beach attendant, decides to take him home with her, the charming drama takes a rather more bizarre turn. Jealous Pompilius and the possessive Lady M converse with each other exclusively in a stream of imaginative foul abuse, while the latter is given to strange acts of revenge, not least secretly filming Lambert having sex with another woman, then showing the video to the surprised couple.

Moreau sparkles as the domineering, violent but ironically godly Lady M: by turns becoming beautiful, tragically little-girl-lost, and almost frightening. Serrault is in equally fine fettle, as a kind of devious old innocent, and only Thullier's Lambert, a compulsive womaniser, is considerably less engaging. The two women just about keep the show going, battling bravely against the way the brittle humour of the situation turns sour as they become increasingly pathetic characters. And while at first it's shockingly funny to hear them haranguing each other so disgustingly, it soon becomes really a tad tiresome.