Wednesday, November 07, 2007

La Peau douce (Francois Truffaut, 1964)

***½
France


François Truffaut's carefully observed, clinically detailed, highly sophisticated and deeply cynical account of adultery. With no evidence of charisma or physical appeal, you have to assume it's through intellect that Jean Desailly has managed to attract and marry the alluring Nelly Benedetti, and it must be intellect that helps him seduce the comparably sexy flight attendant, Françoise Dorléac.
The awkward cover-ups and hide-and-seek games that the adulterous couple is forced to endure in this film stand against everything the movies have taught us about the casual and irreproachably glamourous methods of infidelity in French society. So this must be a truer depiction of how these things would have functioned in real life - except for the explosive finale: irrespective of how many newspaper articles it was probably based on, it screams Movie!

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