Olivia

47
Plunging the viewer—and the main character—into a lion’s den, director Audry invites viewers behind the doors of an elite 19th-century boarding school for young women, a world almost entirely without men. The two mistresses of the house, Miss Julie...read more
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Plunging the viewer—and the main character—into a lion’s den, director Audry invites viewers behind the doors of an elite 19th-century boarding school for young women, a world almost entirely without men. The two mistresses of the house, Miss Julie (Edwige Feuillere) and Miss Cara (Simone Simon), are at war; they rouse passion, hatred and unexpected reversals of loyalty competing for the affections of their students. Taking a subtle approach to her film's taboo subtext, Audry explores the students’ discovery of attraction and the awakening of their senses. But for temptresses Julie and Cara, power is as strong a motivator as suppressed carnal desire. A unique film and a delight on the big screen, Olivia's young actresses live in a somber, Gothic space reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Rebecca. Around the school’s circular staircase, the teens observe each other; and the serpentine hallways, waiting rooms, and vestibules of the building evoke a fairy-tale castle. At a time when homosexuality was not accepted and male directors dominated the film world, Audry's film is a revelation.

Original Release

04/27/1951

US Release

11/26/2019

Cast

(see additional cast & crew)

Directors

Jacqueline Audry

Writers

Dorothy Bussy, Colette Audry, Pierre Laroche

Cast

Producers

Editors

Marguerite Beaugé

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