The Bronte Sisters ★★★★★

An early masterpiece by Téchiné, heavy on stifling interiors and gloomy exteriors. The choice of imagery, from the sisters in heavy nightgowns navigating dark corridors to Isabelle Adjani holding an umbrella in a rain-swept cemetery, makes the whole thing feel like a kind of ghost story without any literal ghosts. In fact, the mood is almost comically gothic at times, but it's still wonderful nonetheless. Despite all the dramatic compositions, the defining image for me was a recurring simple two shot of Huppert and Adjani seated at a table reading and collaborating on letters. It would be tempting to frame their literary ambitions as a liberating way of keeping their minds free of life's drudgery, but Téchiné is wise to stress how those endeavors end up being little more than impotent protests. A haunting, mysterious, and beautiful film.