Jean Harvey and his wife Gabrielle are renowned within Paris' haute bourgeoisie for the salons they host each Thursday evening.
Jean and Gabrielle live a comfortable yet regimented life in a well-appointed Paris mansion, assisted by a retinue of devoted servants. Yet their marriage is more of a contract than a relationship. Jean confides to the audience that he loves Gabrielle "as a collector loves his most prized object."
On their 10th anniversary, Jean comes home to find a note from Gabrielle in which she writes that within the hour she will have left to meet her lover.
Jean spends several minutes digesting the meaning of the note. Gabrielle returns shortly, though, and Jean and Gabrielle reflect on their marriage for the remainder of the film.
Isabelle Huppert as Gabrielle Hervey
Pascal Greggory as Jean Hervey
Claudia Coli as Yvonne, Gabrielle's maid
Chantal Neuwirth as Madeleine
Thierry Hancisse as Editor in Chief of Jean's financial publication
Raina Kabaivanska as a singer and pianist
Gabrielle was placed at 89 on Slant Magazine's best films of the 2000s.
2006 César Awards
Won: Best Costume Design (Caroline de Vivaise)
Won: Best Production Design (Olivier Radot)
Nominated: Best Actress – Leading Role (Isabelle Huppert)
Nominated: Best Cinematography (Eric Gautier)
Nominated: Best Sound (Olivier Dô Hùu, Benoît Hillebrant and Guillaume Sciama)
Nominated: Best Writing – Adaptation (Patrice Chéreau and Anne-Louise Trividic)