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Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her.
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Well crafted, slow character study, microscopic quality.
This film enters with a spectacular high speed tracking shot matched by the hyper circular theme song by Michelle Legrand that sounds both like spinning and falling, and which does indeed represent both the spinning of the roulette wheel and falling in love.
Here we have the side of Jeanne Moreau I don't care for, posey, game playing and artificial... the kind of woman men like and women hate... and that made her perfect in this role. (And her performance her is Infinitely BETTER than in EVA, same type role.) What I like a lot about her casting here is that she looks quite a bit like Marilyn Monroe, but is as different internally as anyone can possibly be - which a lot of the world was doing at this time, being bad Marilyn Monroe wannabees. I love that the platinum hair makes her look much more harsh, older, and very false, and that is, of course, the essence of the character. And this film is mainly a character study, with little story and little explanation.
Our leading man is the young naive everyman sucked into her world in all respects. We feel for his every bad decision, and this is a true and real representation of both the allure and the tawdriness of the gambling world.
Without giving anything away, the ending feels contrived, but in this time period, films wanted "endings"... today a truer ending would just go on spinning like the roulette wheel. Michel Legrand's score is great. Like many of Demy's films, this is a dark story of the current day told with musicality and attention to the games we play with ourselves.
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