6.2/10
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Lumiere (1976)

Lumière (original title)
Sarah, an actress nearing 40, has invited the woman who has been her best friend for 16 years and two younger women to her vacation retreat in Provence. There are the simple pleasures of ... See full summary »

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Laura
...
Julienne
Caroline Cartier ...
Caroline
...
Sarah
...
David
François Simon ...
Grégoire
...
Heinrich Grün
René Féret ...
Julien
...
Nano
Francis Huster ...
Thomas
Patrice Alexsandre ...
Pétard
Jacques Spiesser ...
Saint-Loup
Chloé Caillat ...
Marie (as Cloe Caillat)
Marie Henriau ...
Flora
Hermine Karagheuz ...
Camille
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Storyline

Sarah, an actress nearing 40, has invited the woman who has been her best friend for 16 years and two younger women to her vacation retreat in Provence. There are the simple pleasures of lounging in adjacent hammocks, the sun, the food, conversations about men. This is prologue for what happened a year ago in Paris with a man Sarah has long taken for granted as a platonic friend. She had just finished a film, also finishing her liaison with the director, and was about to get an award and start work on a new film and begin a romance with a German writer. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Film By a Woman, About Women And For Everyone

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

15 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lumiere  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeanne Moreau wanted Jack Nicholson to play David, until "dreaming over an early Gary Cooper," she saw a Keith Carradine film and he cancelled a recording session to make the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in One Hundred and One Nights (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An unusual and worthy milestone in Moreau's career
2 August 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Like L'Adolescente, Lumiere is an attempt by the gifted French actress Jeanne Moreau to take her place behind the camera. It suffers at first from a similar feminine (almost claustrophobic) syrupiness, but has much to recommend it, from beautiful (and frequently symbolic) mise-en-scene to realistic girly-chat and excellent touches of humour. "Why do brides wear white?" they joke. "To blend in with the kitchen."

The overload of pink (visually an metaphorically) changes abruptly as we return from the countryside to Paris. Moreau's character is an actress, which gives us the excellent opportunity to see the difference between the 'woman's woman' and the projected reality of pouting and flirtatiously confrontational behaviour. We realise that the latter is a deliberately invented trademark. The call of, "Lights, action!" (expressed by French film directors as the word, 'Lumiere!") becomes almost a metaphor for the change of attitude women must take. In the countryside relaxing with each other, they can be 'natural.' But in the city, in the 'real' world of business – and business with men especially – it is all about attitude.

Sarah (Moreau) is in the process of splitting up with one man and entering into an affair with another. She is a strong, intelligent character, and interprets the man-woman flirtation as a strictly hunter and hunted business (whichever way round). It is almost an essay on the push-pull of passion. "No-one is safe," she says to her close friend, "married or not."

My main criticism might be that the continuous rapid-fire dialogue as they battle out their emotions with themselves and each other can get a bit wearing. But at least it is real and intelligent, and in stark contrast to many modern films with similar themes.

In spite of its flaws and annoyances, Lumiere is a sophisticated film that deserves repeated viewing.


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