7.8/10
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The Aviator's Wife (1981)

La femme de l'aviateur (original title)
A young student is devastated when he finds that his girlfriend is cheating on him. In order to find out why she did it, he decides to spy on her and her lover.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Philippe Marlaud ...
François
...
Anne
Anne-Laure Meury ...
Lucie
...
Christian
Philippe Caroit ...
François' Friend
Coralie Clément ...
Anne's Colleague
María Luisa García ...
Anne's Friend (as Lisa Hérédia)
Haydée Caillot ...
Blonde
Mary Stephen ...
Tourist
Neil Chan ...
Tourist
Rosette ...
Concierge
...
Mercillat
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Storyline

The aviator Christian visits his ex-mistress Anne seven o'clock in the morning, to tell her that their affair is over, because his wife is pregnant and will soon move to Paris. Anne's new lover, François, happens to see Christian and Anne when they leave her house, and thinks that their affair is still going on. He tries to contact Anne, but she won't talk to him. At a pavement café François sees Christian and an unknown woman, which he assumes is the aviator's wife. As he is in a bad mood and doesn't know what to do, he decides to follow the couple. On his way through a park he bumps into a cute girl, Lucie, who is 15 years old and has taken a day off from school. Lucie soon brings 20-year-old François to explain to her what has happened to him this morning. She is excited by his story and especially the puzzling parts of it. She joins him in pursuing the couple and thinks out various hypotheses about them. When the couple goes into a lawyer's office, Lucie is sure that the unknown ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Direct From the 19th New York Film Festival

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 March 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Aviator's Wife  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The park scenes were filmed in the Parisian park of Buttes Chaumont where Éric Rohmer had also made his short film Nadja in Paris (1964). See more »

Goofs

When Francois put a stamp on the postcard he wants to mail to Lucie, the writing on the card is different than the one he wrote previously. The words are the same but on different or more lines. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Woman Next Door (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Paris m'a séduit
Performed by Arielle Dombasle with Jean-Louis Valéro
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User Reviews

 
Strong debut for Comedies and Proverbs
15 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's hard to explain what exactly is so appealing about the films of Eric Rohmer. A plot summary of any of his films would surely make it sound like a dull affair or possibly even a soapy melodrama. Rohmer's films aren't about plot, however, one might even say they defy plot. Instead of focusing on conventional narrative, Rohmer concentrates on his characters. This is not to say that Rohmer chooses to show extraordinary individuals; the strength of his characters is actually in their ordinariness. His characters seem like people I really know or at the very least like people I might encounter. These characters aren't dumbed down or simplified to be more universal, either; each seems like a uniquely realized person.

The Aviator's Wife is about Francois, a Parisian college student/mail sorter and his relationships with his older girlfriend Anne (who he suspects is cheating on him) and Lucie,a younger girl who picks him up in the park. Throughout the film we come to know both the flaws and strengths of these three characters, each of whom is curious (albeit for very different reasons) about a certain aviator and his wife. Francois is naive and clingy but very kind natured, Anne is strong but cruel, and Lucie is cheery and intelligent but also dishonest and coquettish.

The Aviator's Wife is the first of Rohmer's six "Comedies and Proverbs" films. The proverb this time around is: "It is impossible to think about nothing." Within the context of the film this seems to refer to the inability of some of the characters to understand the significance (or lack of significance) of the things they hear. This theme works well enough but the film as a whole fails to be as captivating or as interesting as the previous Rohmer films I've seen (those being Pauline at the Beach and The Green Ray). This is especially apparent in the bedroom scene near the end of the film which goes on too long. Still, the comical ending was a fun surprise.


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