Written & Directed By: Michel Hazanavicius
Adapted from the Novel “UN AN APRES” By: Anne Wiazemsky
Cinematography: Guillaume Schiffman
Editor: Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Berenice Bejo, Micha Lescot, Gregory Gadebois, Guido Caprino
Paris, 1967. Jean-Luc Godard, the maker of “A bout de souffle”, “Le Mépris” and “Pierrot le fou”, idolized by critics and intellectuals, is shifting from revolutionizing cinema to becoming a revolutionary tout court. Isn’t he shooting “La Chinoise”, more a political tract in favor of Maoism than an actual movie? His female star is Anne Wiazemsky, writer François Mauriac’s granddaughter, sixteen years his junior. Anne and Jean-Luc have been dating since 1966 and they married this very year. She admires Jean-Luc’s originality, intelligence, wit and boldness while he loves Anne’s freshness and – admiration of him. But May 1968 puts their marriage to the test. Godard, who is more and more involved in the revolution, indeed becomes less and less available to his young wife, which does not prevent him from acting jealous. It also looks as if the genius is losing his sense of humor.
This film isn’t for most. It will appeal to a certain audience. Who might be I to try director Jean Luc Godard, film history or movies in general.
The film isn’t a biography but does take a look at a certain time. More an experience and exposure of a certain period of time in e Godard’s life particularly his marriage to 19-year-old Anne Wiazemsky
The film also manages to humanize a rebellious film Legend and manages to expose him.
The film has a freewheeling, yet steady style that always feels like it is going to break off into a more comedic moment. Though it stays more dramatic.
Sometimes it even feels like a comedy with him as the central star. He seems to know better but acts like he knows best and seems to want to antagonize and get a rise out of others and see how they react. So that while serious he comes across as ridiculous. Trying to be the most woke but trying too hard and coming across as more offensive.
At heart, this film is a love story about falling out of love. As we don’t see the beginning of the romance the initial falling in love of getting to know one another phase. When the film begins they are already married. So we watch as a man falls in love with ideas and morals rather than his physical partner. Who when she doesn’t fall him fully. He sees it as a kind of infidelity. Where he is made to choose between the two.
The film is more about the male gaze. As she comes across more like a fantasy to him. Though the film is from her point of view, we barely know a thing about her. She seems to follow him around and he would rather her be seen and not heard. Though representing his beliefs as an actress in his films, she is prone in most scenes to be undressed and usually reads it when clothes are chic and in a colorful outfit.
As he expects her to do everything for him. As his wife is young and hasn’t lived as much. She takes her experiences from him and as his outsized ego and idealism take over as he tries to say he is standing up for the people but then belittles them when he experiences them. Especially if they don’t believe or follow in his worldview. He falls in love with politics over real life. Though he comes from a place of privilege.
Though this is more her story as most scenes involve her, but allows him to take over the story. Showing how overbearing he is taking over her life. He comes across as insufferable. Though he seems to be lost or in search of something and taking it out on all around him. Like an overgrown college student.
The main characters have no affairs but there is a betrayal of friends, promises, vision, and ideals
The film uses some techniques from films the subject has made. Such as long tracking shots, sharp editing, talking Straight to the camera.
Stacy Martin looks incredible throughout. The ideal screen goddess and leading lady. Who doesn’t say much but you always remember.
Louis Garrel is good; he has the look and mannerisms of Godard down In A complete performance. That shows the comedic side to the character but also the constant insecurity and overbearing behavior.
As we watch Godard go from the top of the world then walk away. Creating a kind of romantic ideal out of his beliefs. As he might be to show that he doesn’t like his fans who made him famous. Especially anytime they give acknowledgment and praise his work.
As we watch, even other revolutionaries get tired of him and the film ends with him being a kind of victim. As he has painted himself into a corner of his own creation.
Just as In Life and especially romance the facade and artifice can’t keep up and it falls away. You are left with yourselves and the truth. You have to decide if you can live with that reality. As you see who you truly are. This is a tale as innocence is lost in love and life. Deciding to marry oneself to another, but not a person more a philosophical standard and morals. He ends up standing for that she doesn’t want