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Une Femme Mariée (1964)
"Une femme mariée: Suite de fragments d'un film tourné en 1964" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,430 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 26 critic

Charlotte is young and modern, not a hair out of place, superficial, cool; she reads fashion magazines - does she have the perfect bust? She lives in a Paris suburb with her son and her ... See full summary »

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Title: Une Femme Mariée (1964)

Une Femme Mariée (1964) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Bernard Noël ...
Robert, the Lover
Macha Méril ...
Charlotte
Philippe Leroy ...
Pierre, the Husband
Christophe Bourseiller ...
Nicolas (as Chris Tophe)
Roger Leenhardt ...
Himself
Margaret Le Van ...
Girl in Swimming Pool (as Margaret Le-Van)
Véronique Duval ...
Girl in Swimming Pool
Rita Maiden ...
Madame Celine
Georges Liron ...
The Physician
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Storyline

Charlotte is young and modern, not a hair out of place, superficial, cool; she reads fashion magazines - does she have the perfect bust? She lives in a Paris suburb with her son and her husband Pierre, a pilot. Her lover is Robert, an actor. Assignations with him, dinner with her husband and a client, consulting a physician: there's tension at home, Pierre had her followed a few months before, their marital play has an edge, Pierre slaps her and apologizes. She quizzes Robert: is he acting when he's with her? Events may force her to choose Robert or Pierre. Close-ups fill the screen; is there more than surface? Her eyes tear up. The horrors of war provide a distant counterpoint. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

4 December 1964 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Married Woman  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$120,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Three to Get Ready
Written by Dave Brubeck
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User Reviews

 
on women, love, bodies, affairs, marriage, and other concerns
25 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We see a hand, then another hand, in the frame of the opening shot of Jean-Luc Godard's Une femme mariee. It's from here that we see a succession of images, all of the body but never anything explicit- a leg, a belly-button, hands, a back, a nude front but covered breasts. Godard is inquiring about the form of a body in and of itself while also trying to find new ways of photographing it. In these shots, which also happen again in this sort of physical poetry a couple of other times in the film, illustrate something both absorbing and elusive about the film in general.

It's about form and 'lifestyle, of the married life and the affair, of a bad husband and a tricky squeeze on the side... but then we also have scenes that puncture through the infidelity drama: there's a scene where Robert, the lover, and Charlotte, the main femme of the movie, are sitting in a movie theater at an airport, discreetly, and one wonders what they're about to watch (just before this an image of Hitchcock appears as if Charlotte sees it in the lobby), and it turns out to be some kind of holocaust documentary ala Night & Fog. They leave right away. Too much of a shock, or too much reality? How does the outside world affect these people?

We get a lot of scenes of characters just talking to one another, asking questions, sometimes in documentary form. Whether it's really Godard off camera asking the questions and turning it into a docu-narrative of some sort (the old Bazinian logic taken to an extreme that an actor in front of a camera is still in a documentary of the actor acting on camera perhaps), or the characters themselves is kept a little unclear. But this doesn't distract from the dialog and monologues being generally, genuinely intriguing and moving even. There's one scene in particular that I shall not forget easily, no pun intended, when Pierre, the husband, espouses about memory and how "impossible" it is for him to forget, and how rotten it can be for someone who has dealt with real horror (he recalls a story, as his character is a pilot, of talking to Roberto Rossellini about a concentration camp victim and memory and that it made him laugh - again, a very harsh contrast of Dachau and Auschwitz mentioned for interpretation).

This and a few other times when characters just go off on something has a lasting impact. Une femme Mariee is filled with the sort of cinematic rhythm that would immediately say to someone unfamiliar with foreign/art-house film, let alone Godard, "oh, that's an 'arty' movie". It certainly is: everything from its themes of alienated characters to its lyrical and original cinematography to the repetition of the Beethoven music (later used in Prenom Carmen) to image itself becomes an issue like when Charlotte obsesses over ladies wearing bras in a magazine, it's all from an artist who expresses his concerns in a my-way-or-the- highway attitude to the audience. And you want to go along with him, if curious enough, to see where he'll take his trio of characters in the Parisian settings. Sometimes there's even weird, dark humor, like when Charlotte finds a random record of some woman in agony and it's the sound of a woman just laughing - something that Charlotte and Pierre listen to in silence until Charlotte wants to put on another record and she becomes like a little kid trying to put it on without Pierre getting in her way.

What looks disjointed and without a plot is deceptive when looking at it in pieces. But somehow Godard's film works as a whole piece, and it's part of the point to find this character Charlotte not easy to figure out. The men in her life barely know themselves. And by the end, when it should be about the melodrama of a baby on the way, Godard side- steps this (already dealing with it comically in A Woman is a Woman), by making it about something else on the surface and underneath full of tension. Notice how demanding Charlotte is of answers from Robert about what it means to be an actor. He answers well and stands his ground, but it becomes noticeable that it's not about getting answers on acting or real love but about this woman's tortured self-made life. It's not emotionally gripping, but it gets one to think and it's this that makes Godard's film special in his cannon of great 1960's works.


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