Late in the award-winning drama “A Woman’s Life,” the titular protagonist is informed that her properties now amount to only six of her family’s original 22 farms. In most other films, this scene might have been the last eye-rolling blow in a “rich people problems” story. But Stéphane Brizé is no ordinary filmmaker and Judith Chemla’s performance as Jeanne Le Perthuis des Vauds is far from average. As such, this scene is the culmination of a narrative of rare empathy and palpable emotion.
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