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Maurice Pialat's portrait of contemporary France mocks prosperity as a substitute for social and sexual revolution. Nelly abandons her bourgeois friends and a steady relationship for the unemployed layabout Loulou, whose charms include focusing his energy into sex. Written by
This is the pathetic story of a woman who leaves her well-off and educated husband for Loulou (Gerard Depardieu), an unemployed ex-con. The storyline doesn't deviate much from this premise outside of a few interesting anecdotes here and there, and the rest of the film is spent on depicting the interactions between the characters.
So why does this simple film deserve eight stars? In my opinion, it's because Pialat has focused his attention on a single element that dominates all aspects of its development: realism. Characters depicted are paradoxical and confused, just as many people are when it comes to love and relationships. There is no soundtrack to distract the viewer. Perhaps most interesting of all is the way the film is written and acted; every line seems spontaneous, not scripted and polished. Because of this, the film really succeeds in the impression that you really are looking through a window into people's lives. It's all great cinema; the techniques used in this film really should be used more frequently.
Make no mistake, though: this is an actor's film. All three of the leads are equally brilliant. We can feel the raw emotion when one of them make a sudden outburst, though we may not always understand their motivations. This movie certainly would not have been the same without them.
I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys art-house cinema.
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