Blue Beard is the story of two sisters and a monster. Catherine Breillat’s new film shows two girls recounting their favorite fairy tale of a wife-eating ogre as they transpose themselves onto the Charles Perrault classic. Two young sisters are home alone in present day France. The younger of the two decides to torment the older by reading the story of “Blue Beard”. The tale parallels that of those telling it, in “Blue Beard” there are also two sisters. The girls live in 16th century France and are thrown out of their school and into poverty when their father dies.

Abuse of Weakness

In 2004, at the age of 56, Catherine Breillat suffered a serious stroke. Her left side was initially paralyzed and after five months in the hospital she worked like a demon to walk again. Not long after, she prepared a screenplay of her novel Bad Love and decided to cast the notorious “swindler of the stars,” Christophe Rocancourt, fresh from a jail term for fraud. Over the next several months, Rocancourt took advantage of Breillat’s condition and stood by her side as she wrote him checks amounting to €650,000. She later took him to court, won her case, and chronicled the experience in a book that she has now adapted into a uniquely haunting film, which features a bold, tough performance by Isabelle Huppert as the Breillat figure and French/Portuguese rapper Kool Shen as the con man. [Synopsis courtesy of Film Society of Lincoln Center]