The Girl Cut in Two (15)

Not a James Ellroy pulp murder mystery, as the title suggests, but the sedate story of a love triangle set among the Parisian haute bourgeoisie.

Ludivine Sagnier plays a TV weathergirl who provokes a storm of rivalrous amour in a renowned (and married) author (François Berléand) and a spoilt pharmaceutical heir (Benoît Magimel). Sagnier is pert and pretty enough, though why she flips over either man is mysterious – or perhaps not so in the case of Berléand, whose sixtysomething roué is more beguiling to director Claude Chabrol (b. 1930) than he is to us. The cult of ageing virility is not dead. One keeps hoping that some of that sinister Chabrolian wit will enliven the film's smooth surface, but alas, it never does.