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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Pierre Lachenay, a middle-aged, well-known publisher and lecturer, is married to Franca, an unbalanced woman, and father of Sabine, a 10-year-old girl. While traveling to Lisbon for a lecture, Pierre Lachenay has a one night stand with Nicole, the Panair do Brasil air stewardess. He wants to see her again and again, they travel to Reims together, and Pierre hides the affair from his family, mostly to spare his daughter the anguish of a separation. Nicole is taking it lightly but Pierre, misunderstanding her feelings and expectations, decides to live with her. The couple's break-up leads to a tragic end. Written by
Truffaut filmed La Peau Douce immediately after the international success of "Jules et Jim". Released at the heyday of the nouvelle vague, critics and audiences panned the film as a futile resort to bourgeois classicism after the unconventional antics of his previous masterwork.
They could not have been more mistaken. Time has treated La Peau Douce better than most of his later efforts. It is definitely a triumph of direction with each scene being carefully planned and meticulously structured, not unlike a Hitchcock movie. In practice, Truffaut transposes Hitchcock's mechanisms of suspense into a seemingly trivial story concerning the illicit love affair of a distinguished editor/author with a younger stewardess and its withering consequences. The characters and the milieu of the story are effortless evoked, but the main joy is derived from the visual inventiveness that Truffaut shows in scene after scene. It's a triumph of a purely cinematic mode of expression, which Truffaut was one of the few who had really mastered it.
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