MovieChat Forums > Cousin BetteĀ (1998) Discussion > What do you think of Bette? (spoilers)

What do you think of Bette? (spoilers)

Do you think she was evil and bitter through-and-through (though if so, perhaps somewhat justified in wanting revenge)? Or does Bette have some redeeming qualities?

The scene at the end when first she is looking at Wenseslas' corpse and says to the courtesan that this is "boring" and walks away coldly, may have been an act for the courtesan's sake. She might have genuinely mourned him, but still needed to complete her revenge on the courtesan by driving the knife in so to speak. Do you think she still cared for him in the end?

The last scene of Bette taking care of the Count and his baby grandson seemed to me almost like everything had gone full circle and finally Bette had justice and the child she never had. I thought maybe she had a look of affection on her face when she was speaking to the baby. At the same time, it was a little creepy. Maybe all she ever really wanted was to be a mother. Then again, maybe she's the ultimate control freak and now she has total control.

I think...she's a mixture of both. A very interesting character indeed!

"I'm sorry, but.." is a self-contained lie.


Bette despised the Hulot family for their pretentions and airs of aristocracy which was earned through Hector's salesmanship during the revolution. She was angry that her sister treated her as a second class citizen and that her in-laws consider her situation as non-existent to their own importance. Her revenge against the entire family is deliberate and calculated to bring the ultimate downfall of each member of the family. With the murder of naive Hortense's husband, and the abandonment of the family by incapacitated Hector's only son, Bette's path to take over the family is cleared and she is the ultimate winner by default.
In the end, the working class Bette is the queen of the chateau, honor intact, and with a baby without having to marry a husband who would have had control over her. She wasn't evil just knew how to prey on the foolishness of her silly relations and their stupidity. It is the French post-revolution moment of resolution.

-- Ew lover, you gonna make me clutch my pearls --


Great posts, you two. Though I would definitely call Bette evil.