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Critic wrangle: “A Girl Cut in Two.”

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08152008_girlcutintwo.jpgIt’s the week of the twilight auteurs, with films from the 72-year-old Woody Allen, the 88-year-old Eric Rohmer and the 78-year-old and still intimidatingly prolific Claude Chabrol in theaters. “A Girl Cut in Two” is vintage Chabrol in its themes. For most critics, that seems to be just fine.

J. Hoberman at the Village Voice calls the film “a spry piece of work,” adding that “although directed for mordant comedy, the spectacle of a naïve, lower-middle-class woman’s misadventures in a nest of wealthy vipers is initially unsettling and ultimately gut-wrenching.” The New York TimesManohla Dargis writes that the film is evidence that Chabrol, “after a series of vague if invariably entertaining cinematic sketches, has returned to elegant tight form with an erotically charged, beautifully directed story of a woman preyed upon by different men and her own warring desires.”

Kristi Mitsuda at indieWIRE allows that “If the film doesn’t quite cohere emotionally (the alleged love between Charles and Gabrielle peaks too quickly, without enough foreplay, so to speak) or intellectually (at times the narrative and characterizations work more on a cerebral than dramatic level) the imperfections can be forgiven as the acceptable flaws of an otherwise fascinating work of moral inquiry.” While Scott Tobias at the Onion AV Club believes that “the film takes the form of a thriller, but it doesn’t have the pace of one,” he concludes that “Chabrol has made a career out of savage class warfare, and A Girl Cut In Two fires off another bitter salvo.”

Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Chicago Reader finds that “A Girl Cut in Two” showcases “Claude Chabrol’s capacity to make shopworn material seem almost new,” while for Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir, the film’s arguably “more fun around the edges, as an assemblage of bizarre supporting characters and throwaway comic bits, than it is down the middle, as a classic French morality tale about an innocent girl despoiled by two warring predators.” And Ed Gonzalez at Slant, the film’s “almost documentary-like in its examination of bourgeois rituals of wining and dining and modes of self-preservation, but its intriguing bits of psychological observation are not engineered into a particularly sensible or pulsating whole.”

[Photo: “A Girl Cut in Two,” IFC Films, 2008]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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