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Une Femme Mariée (1964)

Une femme mariée: Suite de fragments d'un film tourné en 1964 (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 4 December 1964 (France)
A superifical woman finds conflict choosing between her abusive husband and her vain lover.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writer:

Jean-Luc Godard
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Bernard Noël Bernard Noël ... Robert, the Lover
Macha Méril ... Charlotte
Philippe Leroy ... Pierre, the Husband
Christophe Bourseiller ... Nicolas (as Chris Tophe)
Roger Leenhardt ... Himself
Margareth Clémenti Margareth Clémenti ... Girl in Swimming Pool (as Margaret Le-Van)
Véronique Duval Véronique Duval ... Girl in Swimming Pool
Rita Maiden ... Madame Celine
Georges Liron Georges Liron ... The Physician
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Storyline

Charlotte is young and modern, not a hair out of place, superficial, cool; she reads fashion magazines - does she have the perfect bust? She lives in a Paris suburb with her son and her husband Pierre, a pilot. Her lover is Robert, an actor. Assignations with him, dinner with her husband and a client, consulting a physician: there's tension at home, Pierre had her followed a few months before, their marital play has an edge, Pierre slaps her and apologizes. She quizzes Robert: is he acting when he's with her? Events may force her to choose Robert or Pierre. Close-ups fill the screen; is there more than surface? Her eyes tear up. The horrors of war provide a distant counterpoint. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the controversial motion picture that has been hailed by critics everywhere...! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

4 December 1964 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Married Woman See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

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Box Office

Budget:

$120,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Macha Méril did her own make-up in the film See more »

Quotes

Charlotte: It's odd. Men will allow for themselves which they won't allow for women.
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Soundtracks

L'amour c'est comme un jour
Composed by Charles Aznavour
Performed by Macha Méril
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User Reviews

JLG's quasi-feminist reversal of the typical love triangle
19 June 2003 | by WheatpennySee all my reviews

This time there's one female lead choosing between two men, something pretty rare in a medium usually fueled by male fantasies. Charlotte is a young middle-class married woman having an affair with an actor. She has promised her lover she'll divorce her husband, but an unplanned pregnancy makes her question that decision. The film follows her as she attempts to decide between them.

Like other Godard films that followed it (Masculin/Feminin, 2 or 3 Things, Made in USA) one of the primary themes here is the extent to which a modern individual's life is manipulated by commercial culture, and how it influences the choices we make. Perhaps because he had yet to fully mature as a filmmaker, this theme is much less subtle here than in those later films. Charlotte is barraged with nonsensical beauty ads and Cosmo-type articles about achieving the "perfect breast size," and in one famous shot is literally dwarfed by a billboard of "the perfect woman" in a bra. The height of social control is reached in the form of an absurd device her lover gives her that hooks around her waist like a belt and sounds an alarm every time her posture slackens. The effect of this visual over-stimulation on her is pernicious. Like the magazine ads we're shown, her thoughts (heard in voice-over) are fragmented and incoherent, indecisive and ultimately meaningless.

The other recurring Godardian theme appearing here is the commodification of the female body. To her bourgeois husband, who represents the patriarchal tradition and middle-class status quo, she's more an object to be protected (like the records he brings back from Germany) and exploited (he rapes her when she won't make love) than a human being to be understood. Ironically, his unwillingness to forgive a past infidelity and his possessive jealousy only compels her more to see freedom in a lover. But unlike her husband, who treats her like a commercial object, her lover treats her as a sex object ("Is it still love when it's from behind?" she wonders early in the film) and seems interested only in her body. Her scenes with him are composed of tightly-framed shots of his hand stroking her naked body, shots resembling the photographs selling stockings and bras in her magazines. Her lover literally sees her as a whole person only once, when she goes up on the roof naked. Accordingly, he gets angry, out of possessiveness. Godard's dim view of the condition of modern woman sees her as unable to break free of her past (her husband) due to the self-sufficiency and humanity she's denied in the present. As she ages, a woman's role goes from sex object to status-based commodity, and society teaches her that to think otherwise is wrong. This is a concept still ahead of its time today, when violent, over-sexualized junk like the Tomb Raider movies are sold as female empowerment.

As with most of Godard's films, there are always several things going on at once, and this capsule review barely scratches the surface. In the context of his career, the film is best understood as an early version of 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, which he made three years later and is unquestionably better. By that film, Godard had learned to synthesize his social, emotional, and political themes into one seamless whole, discarding the artificial narrative conventions that serve him no purpose. This one, while no classic, is essential viewing for anyone interested in Godard's progression from brilliant filmmaker to serious artist.


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