Louis Mahe is a tobacco planter at Reunion Island. He is waiting for Julie Roussel to marry her. He only knows her by mail. The woman that comes does not like the picture he got, but he ... See full summary »
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder,
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Simon de La Brosse
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Louis Mahe is a tobacco planter at Reunion Island. He is waiting for Julie Roussel to marry her. He only knows her by mail. The woman that comes does not like the picture he got, but he marries her anyway. Soon, she flees with Louis' money. She was not the real Julie Roussel but Marion. Louis tries to find her... Another Truffaut's film about passion. Written by
Although Mississippi Mermaid was considered one of Truffaut's losers, it has charm and the personalities of the characters will stay with you. It's clearly better than its reputation. Said to be influenced by Hitchcock and then rendered in the Truffautian style, it is a little off the beaten track, and the coincidences are a little ridiculous. Nonetheless Catherine Deneuve is outstanding and strangely at home in a role considered by many to be out of character for her, as though Grace Kelly might play Bonnie in 'Bonnie and Clyde.'
This comes five years after Deneuve charmed audiences in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), and two years after her success in Belle de Jour (1967). She stars here as a skanky ex-home girl with a murderous heart. (Truffaut gives us a flashback to the dorm where they slept with the lights on and had masturbating contests.) For all her elegant beauty Deneuve does manage to look cheap and almost sleazy. In some ways she comes to life in this role more than in any other I've seen. Certainly I've never seen her sexier.
Co-star Jean-Paul Belmondo is engaging as a slightly sweet and naive tobacco farmer from Reunion Island (near Madagascar) who gets Deneuve as a mail order bride, she and her bad boyfriend having first dumped the real mail order bride overboard en route. If you've never seen Belmondo you should since he was a sensation in his prime, something like a French Marlon Brando.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
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