VenueWalter Reade Theater
The brilliance of a young Isabelle Huppert lends quiet intensity to this piercing period elegy. Budapest, 1936: Szilvia (Lili Monori), a wealthy heiress to an enormous family fortune, befriends Irène (Huppert), a young seamstress of modest means. Unable to give birth, Szilvia offers Irène money in exchange for conceiving a child with her husband (Jan Nowicki) on her behalf—a transaction that blurs the boundaries of the two women’s social roles and leads all involved into an explosive moral, emotional, and romantic minefield. Set amidst the glimmering decadence of a prewar Europe being consumed by the encroaching rot of Nazism, The Heiresses is a coolly harrowing dissection of class and the cost of motherhood, and a haunting vision of lives on a collision course with history. A Janus Films release. New 4K digital restoration undertaken by The Hungarian National Film Fund and approved by director Márta Mészáros.