Chabrol. (Sigh). No matter how much I try (early work, middle period, late stuff), I have yet to find a film that justifies his outsize reputation. I find his characters sketchy, his technical skills without real finesse, and his stories perfunctory. “Le Beau Serge”, at least, is an early example of the Nouvelle Vague…so its roughness is part of the charm. But all of Chabrol’s flaws are on view, and unfortunately, they never really got any better. It's superior to the film that it is usually twinned with, “Les Cousins”, but that is faint praise indeed, as “Les Cousins” is truly regrettable. Think of this review as a word to the wise. Skip all of Chabrol, except for one anomaly, “La Ceremonie”, where his preoccupations and the talent of his actresses finally come together to great effect. If you MUST….then “Les Bonnes Femmes” (early) “Les Biches” (middle period) and “La Ceremonie” (late) just to prove my point.