Stupeur et tremblements fear and trembling 2003 movie trailer
Fear and Trembling (original title: Stupeur et Tremblements) is a 2003 French film based on the novel of the same name by Amélie Nothomb. The film was written and directed by Alain Corneau and stars Sylvie Testud.
Amélie, a young Belgian woman (Sylvie Testud), having spent her childhood in Japan, decides to return to live there and tries to integrate into Japanese society. She is determined to be a "real Japanese" before her year contract runs out, though it is precisely this determination that is incompatible with Japanese humility. Though she is hired for a choice position as a translator at an import/export firm, her inability to understand Japanese cultural norms results in increasingly humiliating demotions. Though Amelie secretly adulates her immediate supervisor, Ms Mori (Kaori Tsuji), the latter takes sadistic pleasure in belittling Amelie. Mori finally manages to break Amelie's will by making her the bathroom attendant, and is delighted when Amelie tells her that she will not renew her contract. Amelie realizes that she is finally a real Japanese when she enters the company president's office "with fear and trembling," which was possible only because her determination had been broken by Mori's systematic humiliation.
The title, "Fear and Trembling", is said in the film to be the way Japanese must behave when addressing the Emperor. For Westerners, it calls to mind a line from Philippians 2:12, "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling", which could also describe Amélie's attitude during her year at Yumimoto.
Sylvie Testud as Amélie
Kaori Tsuji as Fubuki
Taro Suwa as Mr. Saito
Bison Katayama as Mr. Omochi
Yasunari Kondo as Mr. Tenshi
Sokyu Fujita as Mr. Haneda
Gen Shimaoka as Mr. Unaji
Heileigh Gomes as young Amélie
Eri Sakai as young Fubuki
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 91%, based on 35 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "This tale of culture clash is by turns downbeat and hilarious." On Metacritic the film has a score of 75 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that though there are moments in the film which seem well observed, there are also times when the film slips toward stereotyping.