Watch Cousin Bette
- 1 hr 48 min
Cousin Bette, a period drama from 1998, tells the story of the titular character Bette (Jessica Lange) and her struggles to navigate the cutthroat social scene of mid-19th century Paris. As a single, impoverished woman, Bette has always been overlooked and undervalued by her family and the upper class society in which they reside. But when her beloved cousin Adeline (Geraldine Chaplin) dies and her husband, Baron Hulot (Hugh Laurie), marries a flirtatious and materialistic young woman named Hortense (Kelly Macdonald), Bette sees her opportunity for revenge.
Bette's bitterness and simmering anger towards her family and society only grow as she sees the young, beautiful Hortense take her place in the family and in Baron Hulot's affections. She begins to scheme and manipulate, using her connections with the struggling artist Wenceslas (Aden Young) and the wealthy Polish countess Lisbeth (Elisabeth Shue) to try and tear down the Hulot family from the inside.
As she develops a more prominent role in the household, Bette discovers that the Hulots are not as happy or secure as she had once imagined. Baron Hulot is plagued by financial difficulties and personal demons, while Hortense finds herself increasingly disillusioned with her marriage and her shallow social circle. Meanwhile, Wenceslas and Lisbeth struggle to make their own way as artists and find fulfillment in their own lives.
The tension and intrigue of Cousin Bette build towards a dramatic climax as Bette's plans for revenge threaten to bring down the entire Hulot family. Along the way, we are treated to gorgeous period costumes and sets that transport us back to the glittering world of 19th century Paris. Each of the main characters is complex and compelling in their own right, and the outstanding cast gives powerful performances that keep us engaged throughout.
Jessica Lange brings a fierce intensity to Bette, making her a captivating anti-heroine whose determination and cunning are both admirable and terrifying. Elisabeth Shue is a standout as the mysterious and alluring Lisbeth, and Bob Hoskins shines in his role as Cesar Crevel, a wealthy merchant and political player who takes a personal interest in Bette's schemes.
Overall, Cousin Bette is a dark and riveting drama that explores themes of power, jealousy, and revenge in a vivid and compelling way. The historical setting and the strong performances from the cast make it a fascinating watch, and the twists and turns of the plot will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Fans of period dramas and complex character studies will definitely want to add Cousin Bette to their must-watch list.
Cousin Bette is a 1998 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2.