Les Biches

The Girlfriends

dir. Claude Chabrol

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

Skip to schedule and film credits
An ultra-chic lesbian (Stèphane Audran) seduces a young bohemian woman into a deadly ménage à trois with her male lover (Jean-Louis Trintignant) in Claude Chabrol's corrosive, elegantly perverse study of bourgeois vanity and vacuity.
Pure, perverse pleasure, or, as Andrew Sarris had it: "Delirious, decadent, but ultimately delightful." (Sarris chose it as one of the best films of the year, along with Buñuel's Belle de Jour and Godard's La Chinoise.) A milestone in Chabrol's career and "a major renewal in his art" (Robin Wood), this erotic psychological thriller stars Stéphane Audran, who won the Best Actress award at the Berlin film festival for her performance as Frédérique, an ultra-chic lesbian who seduces a young bohemian woman (called Why) and inducts her into a ménage à trois with her male lover (Jean-Louis Trintignant). The trio plays out an endgame of seduction and betrayal at Frédérique's winter home in St.-Tropez, which, as it must in Chabrol, ends in murder. Chabrol's chill, ironic tone turns Les Biches into a corrosive study of bourgeois vanity and vacuity; it's as cruel and compelling a film as the master ever made. "Confirms a talent at least as awe-inspiring as that of his peers. It is, I think, one of the most beautifully composed films I have ever seen" (Sunday Telegraph); "One of Chabrol's finest" (James Monaco).