The Duchess of Langeais

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The Duchess of Langeais
Ne touchez pas la hache.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Jacques Rivette
Produced by Roberto Cicutto
Martine Marignac
Luigi Musini
Ermanno Olmi
Maurice Tinchant
Screenplay by Pascal Bonitzer
Christine Laurent
Jacques Rivette
Based on La Duchesse de Langeais
by Honoré de Balzac
Starring Jeanne Balibar
Guillaume Depardieu
Music by Pierre Allio
Cinematography William Lubtchansky
Edited by Nicole Lubtchansky
Pierre Grise Productions
Arte France Cinéma
Distributed by Les Films du Losange
Release date
  • 15 February 2007 (2007-02-15) (Berlinale)
  • 28 March 2007 (2007-03-28) (France)
Running time
137 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget €3.9 million[1]
Box office $616,441[1]

The Duchess of Langeais is a 2007 French-Italian drama film directed by Jacques Rivette. Its original French title is Ne touchez pas la hache ("Don't touch the axe"). It is based on the 1834 novel of the same name by Honoré de Balzac. The film stars Jeanne Balibar and Guillaume Depardieu as lovers in early 1823 Majorca[2] who are involved in a tormented and frustrating relationship.


Guillaume Depardieu and Jeanne Balibar during the film's opening night at the Berlinale 2007.
  • Jeanne Balibar as Antoinette de Langeais
  • Guillaume Depardieu as Armand de Montriveau
  • Michel Piccoli as Vidame de Pamiers
  • Bulle Ogier as Princesse de Blamont-Chauvry
  • Anne Cantineau as Clara de Sérizy
  • Marc Barbé as Marquis de Ronquerolles
  • Thomas Durand as Henri de Marsay
  • Mathias Jung as Julien
  • Julie Judd as Lisette
  • Nicolas Bouchaud as Maxime de Trailles
  • Beppe Chierici as Alcalde
  • Victoria Zinny as Mother Superior
  • Barbet Schroeder as The Duke of Grandlieu


Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 69%, based on 64 reviews, with an average score of 6.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "At times plodding and dialogue heavy, The Duchess of Langeais is nevertheless an intriguing and rewarding dissection of class and gender relations."[3] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 74, based on 23 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4]


Award / Film Festival Category Recipients and nominees Result
Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear Nominated
Gaudí Awards Best European Film Nominated
Lumières Awards Best Actor Guillaume Depardieu Nominated


External links[edit]