Les Destinees (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Les Destinees (2002)



Critic Consensus: The long, epic Les Destinees is too slow and tedious to justify its running time.

Movie Info

In the early 1900s, a former clergyman divorces his wife, marries another woman and settles in Switzerland. When he must return to France to take over the family porcelain business, the move affects his second marriage.


Emmanuelle Béart
as Pauline Pommerel
Charles Berling
as Jean Barnery
Isabelle Huppert
as Nathalie Barnery
Olivier Perrier
as Philippe Pommerel
Dominique Reymond
as Julie Desca
André Marcon
as Paul Desca
Alexandra London
as Louise Desca
Jean-Baptiste Malartre
as Frederic Barnery
Mathieu Genet
as Max Barnery
Valérie Bonneton
as Arthur Pommerel's wife
View All

Critic Reviews for Les Destinees

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (22)

A massive undertaking and an accomplished piece of filmmaking in a solid tradition of intelligent, meticulous literary adaptations.

March 3, 2008
Top Critic

Assayas is masterful in using offscreen sounds to conjure up a novelistic sense of milieu and in handling various ceremonies, and the film's lush texture explains why he called it his anti-Dogma film.

March 3, 2008

Ambitious, efficient, sensitive, but a little disappointing.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

More than a few of us would show up for the chance to see and hear Huppert and Beart read from the Limoges telephone directory. Assayas can count himself lucky for that.

September 13, 2002 | Rating: 2/4

Opens at a funeral, ends on the protagonist's death bed and doesn't get much livelier in the three hours in between.

September 13, 2002 | Rating: 2/4

The movie is relentlessly gorgeous, and brims over with color, light and movement like a room-filling Monet canvas.

September 12, 2002 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Les Destinees

Meticulous.period detail marks this chronicle of the lives in Temptations of a husband and wife entrenched in the French porcelain industry from the 1890s through World War II. The subject seems a little strange for someone to be passionate enough to make such an expensive and expansive movie about, but I was drawn into it's novel like story developments and enveloped within the time and place. You probably won't learn more about making upscale decorative plates and cups unless your visit the Delft factory yourself.

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic][color=blue]"School of Flesh" starts out with a wealthy fashion executive, Dominique(Isabelle Huppert) who wanders into a nightclub with a friend one night and meets a bisexual hustler(Vincent Martinez). She returns a couple of nights later and returns home with him. Now, I can understand why that would happen but why honestly continue the affair with somebody as shallow as he is, if it is only physical? Also, is this something that Dominique does on a weekly basis or is it part of a midlife crisis? I think, director Benoit Jacquot's conclusion might be something more negative, considering the movie's ending. This might be a statement on how a successful businesswoman cannot commit to a relationship. "School of Flesh" is a curiously flat movie about an affair that goes on too long.[/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#0000ff][/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=red]"Les Destinees" is an epic drama that starts in 1900 with a funeral(for the 19th century?) and continues until 1930. It focuses on a protestant minister, Jean Barnery(Charles Berling) who is in exile from his prosperous family of porcelain makers and his relationship with a young woman, Pauline(Emmanuelle Beart). At the start of the movie, Barnery is in the process of separating from his wife, due to an unspecified scandal. The movie tries to be a sprawling epic but we never learn much about any characters except for Jean and Pauline. All the other characters just seem extraneous and come and go as they please. But on the other hand, we did learn a great deal of how to make pottery and bourbon.[/color][/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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