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When Jill becomes a movie star, she soon discovers that her private life is destroyed by persistent fans that won't leave her alone. Her mother's ex-lover, Fabio, tries to protect her. Written by
In 1961,BB was the biggest star France had ever had.Never in the history of French cinema an actress had crystallized around her such an adulation..but also so much hatred.One scene sums up everything;in an elevator ,Jill (BB) meets a cleaning lady who insults her,calls her whore and tells her that while she is playing around,her brother is fighting in Algeria.This woman of the people epitomizes what a lot of common men used to think circa 1960.Like in Clouzot's "la vérité" ,as an user wrote,the people is judging Bardot.
"Vie privée" is looked upon as one of Louis Malle's weakest efforts and it's probably unfair.He did much worse later ("le souffle au coeur"(1971).Its hints at Bardot's own life seem dated now but they inspire its vital extremism:Jill (BB) becomes a big star and it's a hellish life which begins.The scene when Jill is tracked down in her own house by journalists is barely fiction:in her memoirs,BB tells that German tourists' tour in Saint-Tropez included her house's visit!!The movie has two parts;the first one is the rise of the star and her efforts to escape from the maddening crowd:Louis Malle uses too much voice over,and a telegraphic style,très nouvelle vague.The second part depicts her relationship with a handsome Italian (Mastroianni),but even in a foreign country she's got to hide in a bedroom.The movie turns a bit pretentious ,with pompous music -from an opera Mastroianni is directing-;and after the rise,comes the fall (in every sense of the term).
BB was never a bimbo (une ravissante idiote) but a clever sensitive woman.We feel it in Malle's work.Watch it for her.
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