Bearing traces of the old Anton Chekhov play The Wedding, The Contract is set during an “arranged” ceremony. The bride and groom barely know each other, but this matters not at all to their tradition-bound families. At the last minute, the bride balks. Only slightly nonplused, the groom’s father, a status-seeking doctor, decides to go ahead with the expensive reception anyway. Polish director Krzysz Zanussi uses this scenario to stick it to capitalist corruption, and to society’s destruction of the individual spirit. Leslie Caron, the one recognizable member of the cast, is outstanding as a wealthy, over-the-hill ballerina who happens to be a kleptomaniac.
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