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The Woman Next Door (1981)
"La femme d'à côté" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,280 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 18 critic

Two ex-lovers wind up living next door to each other with their respective spouses. Forbidden passions ensue.

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(original scenario), (original scenario), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Woman Next Door (1981)

The Woman Next Door (1981) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Henri Garcin ...
Michèle Baumgartner ...
Roger Van Hool ...
Véronique Silver ...
Philippe Morier-Genoud ...
Nicole Vauthier
Muriel Combe
Olivier Becquaert ...
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Storyline

Madame Jouve, the narrator, tells the tragedy of Bernard and Mathilde. Bernard was living happily with his wife Arlette and his son Thomas. One day, a couple, Philippe and Mathilde Bauchard, moves into the next house. This is the accidental reunion of Bernard and Mathilde, who had a passionate love affair years ago. The relationship revives... A somber study of human feelings. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Woman Next Door  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie Bernard is talking about during the first meeting with Odile Jouve is Tod Browning's The Unknown (1927). See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Madame Odile Jouve: I suspect that Mathilde and Bernard won't be buried together. if I had to select an epitaph for them it would be, "Neither with you, nor without you.", but I doubt whether I'll be asked.
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Connections

Referenced in One Night Stand (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

An OK film but the script is never convincing and the characters never seem real
29 October 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In a small village, two houses face one another across the old village street. In one house lives Bernard Coudray, his wife and his young children, while the other house is empty. When new neighbors move into the house Bernard meets Philippe Bauchard and is polite – but later Philippe's wife arrives at the new home and Bernard is shocked to recognise her as Mathilde, a lover from many years ago. Both of them keep this fact from their respective partners and try to keep themselves to themselves as much as they can but it is only a matter of time before repressed passions stir within one another and their hearts are reopened.

I'm not trying to enforce stereotypes here but there is something about this film that is undeniably, well, French. The emotions are destructive, the passion searing, the drama never giving into shouting but always calmly talking about their pain. Unfortunately (for me anyroads) this made the film hard to really get into, because I was never able to identify with their feelings (even if I could with their basic situation) or rather the way they handled them. So the consumed love or the repressed anger never convinced or engaged me. This left the film to just keep moving and keep things happening but, in a very Gaelic fashion, the drama tends to be all in the heart rather than on the screen and it never really is gripping as a story. Towards the end it distinctly slow and made me feel that it should have ended sooner – the predictable and cold ending didn't help either.

The direction is good and makes the film feel intimate, but not to the point where it covered for the lack of the same in the script. The cast do well even if I felt they weren't acting like real people would in the same situation. Depardieu works hard to be heart broken and wracked – and he does it well despite me feeling like he isn't totally sold on how he is acting. Ardant is also good but again she overplays her actions. Both Garcin and Baumgartner are poor – far too stiff and accepting of the adultery and again all part of the film not convincing me.

Overall this is an OK film but it never really convinced me (how many times have I said that now!). It is interesting for the first half and quite engaging but it doesn't really keep in reality and predictably becomes all very tragic and French. The cast try their best and the director adds intimacy but the script is not as good as it should have been and I never felt that I was following real relationship at any point.


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