The Story of Adele H.

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This film is much different than many of the other films from Truffaut. The style of the film is much more conducive to American audiences than some of his other works. The lack of New Wave characteristics such as out-of-context shots and extremely long tracking shots make the film much more 'Americanized' for the audience; meaning that for those who have only been familiar with American major motion pictures, the flow and story of the film easy for the audience to digest.

The Story of Adele H. is a film that follows the story of real life Adele Hugo, daughter of Victor Hugo. Adele travels to Nova Scotia in Canada in order to seek out her long, lost love Albert after he had joined the army. After the first ten minutes or so of the film, those in the audience who do not know the story behind the film are led to believe that this will be a beautiful story of separated lovers reconnecting and living happily ever after. However as the narrative of Adele H. unfolds, the audience is forced to bare witness to Fatal Attraction circa nineteenth century.

After learning that her former lover has no desire to continue on with their relationship, Adele resorts to an extremely delusional outlook on life. She spies on him at another woman's house and writes to Albert saying that "he is so handsome...he deserves all of the women in the world." When he denies the opportunity to not only have any woman he desires, but to also have Adele waiting on him at home, she slips further into her delusional world. Throughout the film, she lies to her parents to much that she ultimately digs herself so deep that she cannot get out of it any longer. She continuously writes home to her parents telling them that she and Albert will not only be married, but she also needs advances on her allowances in order to take care of the nonexistent wedding obligations.

As the film continues, we are hoping for Adele to finally realize that she is only slowly killing herself in order to chase Albert. However, it only gets worse. She dresses up as a man in order to sneak into a party to see him, she sends him prostitutes as 'gifts,' and she even resorts to speaking with a hypnotist to see if she can hypnotize Albert into loving her. Finally, just as in Fatal Attraction, he delusions and desperation inevitably lead to her downfall. Granted that Albert is no saint with his gambling debts and promiscuity around Nova Scotia, throughout the film Adele continues to go out of her way to make sure that if she cannot have him, no one will. After following his regiment to Barbados, she is found in the street after wandering like a peasant with the same dress she previously had on back in Nova Scotia. This callous persistency leads to a lonely existence until her death back in Paris.


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