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The Mad Women's Ball: The prize-winning, international bestseller and Sunday Times Top Fiction selection

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But I did very much enjoy the parallels to modern life in this cautionary tale, with its light supernatural trimmings, and hope it helps convince more people to stand up for what’s right and recognize the humanity in each other instead of simply ignoring injustice because it’s more convenient that way.

The ending is bittersweet as the protagonist flies over the cuckoo’s nest, leaving her friends behind her. Peter Bradshaw wrote: “She could easily be the new French star to make the crossover into the Anglo-Saxon film world, like Catherine Deneuve or Juliette Binoche or Emmanuelle Béart or Marion Cotillard.Hysteria, the film suggests, was then a catch-all term that enabled male doctors to control women, many of whom had been previously abused. She accuses Charcot and other doctors of catalyzing insanity rather than curing it, and in turn, is sent to the claustrophobic old cells of the hospital.

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I’m making movies and the more I’m seeing the world fall apart, the less tolerance I have for actors complaining. Dancing here is also symbolic since although a 19th-century woman has to dance to the tunes of a patriarchal vigilante, she reasserts her artistic freedom through the creative act of performance.

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