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Moderato cantabile (1960)

A wealthy and bored woman is witness of a murder in affection and meets another witness. She asks him about the history of the victim and falls in love with him.

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Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Anne Desbarèdes
...
Chauvin
Pascale de Boysson ...
Bar's owner
Jean Deschamps ...
M. Desbarèdes
Didier Haudepin ...
Pierre
Colette Régis ...
Miss Giraud
Valeric Dobuzinsky ...
Assassin (as Valéric)
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Storyline

A wealthy and bored woman is witness of a murder in affection and meets another witness. She asks him about the history of the victim and falls in love with him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

25 May 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ame no shinobiai  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In original release copies the title card read "Moderato contabile", but they were not retired from circulation. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Woman Is a Woman (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Determinedly distant and melancholy
14 August 2010 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Peter Brooks' film of Marguerite Duras' Moderato Cantabile is one of those good ideas that should make for a better film, but in its determinedly artistic distance and relentless melancholy it never draws you into its characters lives enough to make you care about the inevitable outcome. Jeanne Moreau's dissatisfied wife of the local steel mill owner finds herself increasingly fascinated with a crime of passion after overhearing the victim's scream and seeing her lover/killer taken away by the police and is drawn repeatedly back to the scene of the crime. Equally fascinated by her, Jean Paul Belmondo's steelworker starts inventing details about the doomed lovers to get closer to her. Even though she knows he's lying, his version starts to fill a void in her soul and a need for a vicarious romantic tragedy of her own but from the monotonous gloom of their surroundings and the desperate emptiness of their meetings, it's obvious a happy ending isn't on the cards...

It perfectly captures the dull grey feel of a small dead end coastal town and Armand Tirard's crisp black and white CinemaScope photography (beautifully preserved on the Australian DVD) is easily the best thing about the film, but the film is as drained of real passion as the characters and the minimalism and predictability of every plot and emotional development of its determinedly internal narrative (you just know you're going to hear that less than convincing scream again) makes it all seem rather superficial and uninvolving. There may well be more nuance and meaning in Duras' original story, but Brook never really finds a cinematic equivalent with the result that there's less than meets the eye to the film. Still, if it were made today the plot would suddenly make a U-turn into woman-in-peril territory as Belmondo turned out to be the real killer and Moreau his next intended victim, so for sparing us that cliché at least it probably deserves an extra point.


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