An anguished foster child takes to mischief and lies as his foster parents do their best to love and care for him. But it might be too little, too late in this emotionally devastating portrayal of the orphaned child.
In an interwar France struggling with profound social and political change, 18-year-old Violette Noziere rebels against the constraints of her claustrophobic, working-class (and possibly incestuous) family, with troubling consequences.
Marie Latour, a woman of limited schooling, raises two children in a ratty flat during World War II in occupied France. In 1941, her husband Paul returns from German captivity, too weak to ... See full summary »
Maurice Pialat's portrait of contemporary France mocks prosperity as a substitute for social and sexual revolution. Nelly abandons her bourgeois friends and a steady relationship for the unemployed layabout Loulou, whose charms include focusing his energy into sex.Written by
Pialat films people in extreme emotional situations, usually with several violent scenes. In La Gueule ouverte, he's dealing with the devastating effects on a woman's husband and son as she dies of cancer. In A nos amours, the teenage girl's sexual experimentation leads to violent confrontations with her family. Here we have a rather spoiled young woman who abandons her husband to take up with a sexy ex-con. Her motivation is a little cloudy, since Loulou is incapable of reading or discussing anything more challenging than TV shows; on the other hand, he's got a fabulous body (I wonder why Depardieu never made a sports movie to show off that physique--he would have been great as a rugby player).
The casting is impressive. Isabelle Huppert gives a committed performance as Nelly; her middle class reserve plays well against Depardieu's loutish energy. Depardieu plays Loulou with all the dynamism and charm you could want--see the scene in the bar, where he's stabbed in the gut, runs away and seeks treatment, then soon restarts with Nelly. Guy Marchand, with those coal-black eyes and distressed look, plays Nelly's husband beautifully; it's a fine repeat of their pairing in Diane Kurys's Coup de foudre.
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