Patrice Chéreau’s Gabrielle is a vigorously adult movie (no, not that kind). Somehow that’s what came to mind while watching its portrayal of the turn-of-the-century middle-aged marriage as monument more than sacrament, and its reliance on a literary, even operatic sensibility that seems aspirationally mature on today’s screens. In Belle Epoque Paris, the wealthy M. Hervey (Pascal Greggory) comes home one day, after explaining to us his social and financial stature in voiceover, to find a Dear Jean note from his wife (Isabelle Huppert). If this is devastating to him on any number of levels, it’s pretty much an unworkable mindfuck when she then returns to stay. If she had just died, he says later, that would have at least put him in a “familiar position” etiquette could handle. It’s the haute-bourgeois fortress under siege from within: Jean and Gabrielle spar, acting out their silences and lost entitlements, in the sinuous reframings of Eric Gautier’s widescreen photography. Figuring out how much all of this is a performance (did they really ever love each other?), or how much you even care to gauge that, will determine how engaged you get. I found myself deeply absorbed one moment, then slipping into indifference and faint distaste the next, which maybe is as it should be.