7.7/10
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13 user 8 critic

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
...
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

Taglines:

Direct From the 19th New York Film Festival

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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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

Note that the title character only physically appears in the film in a photograph. 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

Followed by Summer (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Thinking Rien
29 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

I could call this one of my favorite Rohmers, but there isn't one about which I wouldn't say that. Somewhere I've read that Rohmer's male characters are less perfectly, or maybe it's less caringly, drawn than his female. Yet I don't think there's one whose mistakes, harms, self-deceptions I haven't either fallen into or sidestepped one time or another. "Aviator's Wife" flows to and then from a single easy-to-miss but magically telling moment, worked by sprite of the park, Lucie, in the post-park café across from the building into which the aviator has temporarily disappeared. François nods off for a second or two. With a touch on the cheek, Lucie wakes him, immediately, and tells him it's been ten minutes. Circumstance and moment trap him into believing, believing spontaneously like a babe, even though he hasn't believed a word from his Anne all day. Up until the final reel, Rohmer seems to be working to make us dislike Anne, even as our embarrassment for François brings us close to hatred for him. Anne's tired from the start, weary and wary of men who think they're in love. I was shocked that she's only 25, just as I was that wise Lucie is only 15 (and that François is as many years as he is past, say, 12). Even understanding the self-interest and harmfulness of François' self-deception, it's hard not to wince at Anne's defenses, however wise and justified they are. Better to savor the funnily wise Lucie. For twenty-plus years until this recent viewing, I remembered Lucie but could only picture Anne. Anne in my memory: dark unruly hair, bony, going to or leaving a lonely single bed, like a convalescent. I remembered her as having a cold, yet she doesn't.

The film's proverb is "It's impossible to think about nothing." Long ago in a language class, a language I never carried through with and retain very little of, when the gruff prof challenged me, "Stop hesitating!" I got up the nerve and the unlikely spontaneity to complain understandably in the language, "I stop to think when I speak English. This is normal for me. Why can't I hesitate in ________?" "When you speak ________," he shot back without missing a beat, "don't think!" François and, perhaps more justifiably, Anne dig their respective holes because neither of them can manage not to think, neither can successfully think "rien."

But Rohmer's never so simple, so expository. That moment in the café, caught unthinking, François is deceived. Trivially, but deceived all the same. Does that instant overturn the proverb? Don't know.


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