Accompanist, The
PG
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +1

It is instant enchantment when Sophie Vasseur (Romane Bohringer) hears the angelic voice of Irene Brice (Elena Safonova) fill the French concert hall. Sophie, a recent conservatory graduate, nervously meets Brice after the concert to discuss an audition as Brice's personal accompanist. Sophie seizes the opportunity to escape poverty and join the privileged lifestyle of the Brice's in occupied France during World War II. Irene's husband, Charles (Richard Bohringer), is a businessman who walks the razor's edge in this relationship with the Nazi's. When Irene's talent is threatened to be seized by the Germans for their own purposes, the Brices, along with Sophie, decide to defect. The trio find refuge in London, but they remain imprisoned by their personal problems, including an affair between Irene and French resistance fighter, Jacques Fabert (Samuel Labarthe). What starts out as Sophie's coming of age story ends in melodramatic tragedy for the Brice's. Romane Bohringer's portrayal of the dowdy Sophie yields little expression without much explanation. We never truly understand her obsession with spying on Irene Brice when she meets her lover for secret rendezvous. Not an especially memorable film, this critically acclaimed French movie's most outstanding features are the art songs performed by Laurence Monteyrol. It is unfortunate that these classics are not woven into the film more effectively for story enhancement.

The English subtitles for the French dialogue are fairly easy to follow, but it is not clear whether the story's shallowness is due to translation problems or a deficient script. The implication of Irene's on-going, implied affair with Jacques is rather ambiguous. The affair is not portrayed favorably or condoned, and Irene is constantly distraught with the deception she must engage in. Hardship is clearly demonstrated as the natural outcome of her extra-marital liaisons, including the suicide of her husband. In the end, however, events seem to work out in her favor. Fortunately, no overt sex or sexual references are made or displayed. Violence is held to a minimum, consisting only of a brief murder, an implied suicide and an attack of a Nazi bomber on a ocean going ship. Only a few moderate crudities are included in the dialogue. Sophie struggles with the dilemma of exposing Irene's affair or accepting it, adapting it as part of her life as well. The film's tragic ending reiterates the timeless principle that a rich lifestyle does not guarantee happiness. THE ACCOMPANIST has no seriously objectionable elements. However, its adult theme and limited entertainment value will restrict its appeal to selected audiences.

Preview Reviewer: Krista Kay Bontrager and John Evans
Distributor: Sony Classic Pictures, 711 5th Ave., NY, NY 10022

Summary
Crude Language: Several (6) times: Mild 4; Moderate 2
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Few times - Moderate (implied off-screen suicide; murder- brief, on screen; bomber attack on ship)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Implied affair of married woman; reference to sex
Drug Abuse: Social drinking, smoking (encouraged: 'one cigarette never hurt anyone')
Other: Vomiting-implied, on screen)
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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