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I've seen 2 more recent offerings on DVD from director Michel Deville and quite enjoyed them so I thought I would give "La Femme en Bleu" a try. This one didn't do it for me I'm afraid.
The story is simple enough. Pierre spots "The Woman in Blue" in a shop one day and is instantly intrigued. He wonders to himself whether he should approach her but decides against it. Upon leaving the shop he again sees her in the distance and slowly his intrigue turns into obsession. The rest of the film sees us joining Pierre in his quest to find this mysterious woman. He enlists his friend Edmond to assist in locating her and also draws in his sometime lover Aurelie (Massari) who reluctantly agrees to help him as well.
That's the film really ... at a plot level anyway. Of course, Deville is exploring more deeper concepts here, primarily that of OBSESSION. Pierre's obsession with the mysterious woman in blue and Aurelie's obsession with him. Why would she assist in the search for a potential rival? Perhaps a little bit of the 'if you can't beat him - join him' philosophy perhaps? This is a FRENCH film afterall !! The music of Schubert features prominently throughout as both a background score and often as a plot device. Most films are written and then scored later -- watching this however, I couldn't help but feel the Deville chose some of his favourite Schubert pieces and constructed a film around them. A novel approach if nothing else.
I must say i did find "La Femme en Bleu" quite chauvinistic tho. Piccoli's character is far from likable and why Aurelie tags along just doesn't ring true ... but as I said earlier ... this IS a French film. I doubt it would appeal to a female audience (they may even find it offensive) and, frankly, has little to recommend it it to a male one either.
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