Picks and Pans Review: Genealogies of a Crime

updated 04/13/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/13/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Catherine Deneuve

Deneuve, never an actress afraid of a challenge, here takes on two roles. She's a criminal attorney hired to defend a mentally unstable young man charged with murdering his aunt, a famous psychoanalyst. And, in an elaborate sort of flashback in which the lawyer tries to understand her defendant's history, she plays the aunt as well. This woman is softly curvaceous, coolly seductive and—the movie's biggest shock, considering Deneuve's world-famous blonde mane—a redhead. Actually, the getup gives Deneuve a velvety allure that makes her look something like a French Jessica Rabbit.

But the movie itself suffers from a split personality. Simultaneously a study of madness and a satire of psychiatry, it's inscrutable to the point of being unwatchable. (Not rated)

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