|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||13 reviews in total|
This is a very moving film. I think I found it more sad than some of the
other reviewers. It's really about the decline of a marriage through the
incompatibility of the couple.
The incompatibility is brought home to the woman by her class, education, style, grace and education. (The sophisticated one, played by Miou Miou is just extraordinary acting). In essence, the sophisticated woman causes the central woman (played by Isabelle Huppert) to realize that her husband is a dolt, and that they share far more than she and her husband. The wonderful thing about the movie is that though the husband is a boob, insensitive and sometimes prone to violent anger, there is no doubt that he slaves for his family, is very humble, and deeply loves his wife and his two daughters - no question about it.
We get to see his pain as his wife falls out of love for him, his sometimes violent jealousy of the woman who has made his wife see him differently, and his heartbreak. It's quite profound. Those who say it all ends happily were watching another movie!
I loved the periods, the costumes, the settings - from Paris on Liberation Day through the 1940s and 1950s. Although it's the daughter's story, we see much of how the couple earlier met, married and began their married life. You will love it - it's more fast-paced than many French movies, and wrenching.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut
to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it
Michel (Guy Marchand) falls in love with Jewish refuge Lena (Isabelle Huppert) at first sight and offers marriage as a way she can avoid being sent to a German concentration camp. She accepts, and although she doesn't love him, they have two children and are still married when we pick up the action again in Lyons in 1952 when Lena is 29-years-old. There she meets the sophisticated and well-to-do artist Madeleine (Miou-Miou) who awakens her to the drabness of her existence as a housewife with a loutish husband who now runs a gas station. The attraction between Lena and Madeleine is very strong, and very threatening to the men, especially to Michel.
Huppert's poignant and bittersweet portrayal reminds me of her delicate work in Madame Bovary (1991). There is the same listlessness expressed along with a vague desire for something better out of life, and the anticipation of the sadness that we know will come of such desire. Miou-Miou is sharp and cynical with perhaps a streak of the manic-depressive about her. The love they spontaneously feel for one another is real and beautiful and makes us want it to be fulfilled. But Lena holds herself back because of her family, and then it is the men and propriety that get in the way.
Of course this is very French and Lena and Madeleine hold hands and comfort one another while telling each other their innermost secrets including the infidelities of their spouses, etc. (The men have no such communication.) Director Diane Kurys exercises more restraint in showing the physical nature of their mutual attraction than would be displayed today. Lena says to Madeleine at one point, "I want to kiss you," but we do not see them kissing. The most explicit scene sexually is the startling, but delicately expressed, meeting with the soldiers on the train where we discover the full extent of Lena's frustration.
This is not quite a great movie. The pace is a little slow in spots and sometimes the focus is not as sharp as it could be. But it is an extraordinarily honest movie, and I'll take that over sharp technique any day. Huppert is not only at her best here, but her exquisite and subtle beauty is shown to great advantage. Miou-Miou is also very pretty of course--this is the first time I've seen her--so I would say her strength of character is perhaps her strongest suit. This is a human tragedy on a small, intimate scale, one that we can't help but feel could have been averted had those involved understood one another better, had they been a little wiser. We've all been there before and so we can share the sadness and the sense of loss.
Diane Kurys made four films out of her childhood and adolescent
experience; that's one of the richest mining for memories in cinematic
history. Besides Coup de foudre/Entre nous, there are C'est la vie,
Diabolo menthe/Peppermint soda, and Cocktail Molotov (which I have
commented on). Kurys's experience is growing up Jewish in post-war
France, where the social values are secular but the traditions of the
community she belongs to are not.
The story of Lena and Michel may seem bizarre to North Americans--they meet and marry on the same day to escape deportation to the death camps--but it must have seemed quite understandable to the people who had to live through that madness. That Michel loves Lena passionately while she finds him dull and vulgar is also normal. These people are making-do with what they've been given, as are Madeleine and Costa, the other unhappy couple.
You either love or hate Isabelle Huppert--I must admit to the latter many times over the years, but Miou-Miou is worth whatever the rental or purchase price for this picture is: she's just wonderful; the smallest gesture of her hand carries so much meaning. One great scene has Costa, the world's worst businessman, bent over the sewing machine trying to add sleeves to shirts with only one sleeve that he's bought on the black market; Madeleine stands in the next room working at a sculpture, simultaneously trying to console Costa and quietly make him realize what a mess their lives have become.
I first saw Entre Nous in the mid-to-late 80's. At the time, the list of "lesbian movies" could be counted on your fingers with several left over. The majority of those had one party returning to men while the 'die hard dyke' was left with a broken heart. Even "Desert Hearts", one of the more positive movies out in the 80's had one character leaving the other kind of up in the air. The fact that this was a true story, written by one of the character's daughters, who was obviously not forever scarred by her mother choosing a woman over her father made it even more positive. The history is clear for those who know anything about France during WWII. It's not an action-packed movie, it's not supposed to be. The characters are not perfect, they're real people. I wouldn't call it the greatest movie of all time but I own it and I feel that it's worth watching. Besides, Miou Miou is HOT. *grin*
This is a wonderful film, the story of two women whose lives gradually become entwined that each can fully bloom. The story of their meeting their husbands, becoming disillusioned with them and then discovering each other is a lovely story. There are problems with the sub-titles in the DVD, so if you were to rely wholly on what you read, the film would not work as well. Overall I enjoyed this film very much. A lovely story of discovery and awakening, with much left to the viewer's imagination, but all the details add to the whole.
The sweetest thing about this film is the portrayal from a daughter's view of her parents' struggles with who they are and their relationships with each other. The ending dedication of the film is quite poignant. This film is a reminder of the ways our lives are thrown together and how that intertwines with the choices we make. This is a bittersweet love story on more than one dimension.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Re KS-8's review above, everyone is of course entitled to his or her opinion. I disagree though; this really is a modern classic. I should explain the meaning of "the Resistance" since this is kind of relevant to the plot in this movie. During WWII, there were a number of people in those countries that had been overrun by the Germans who, fairly understandably, were not too happy about that situation. The French Resistance was particularly active in trying to do as much damage as possible to the German army. That's all historical context for what follows in this movie. It is a great movie and one which I am glad finally to have found on DVD just today (my birthday).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a fine movie any way you look at it in fact I'll amend that to Fine/Great and I'd love to own it on DVD so that I could run it just before La Baule-les-pins (which I do own) and which covers the same autobiographical data from another angle. For the record both films are based on the early life of writer-director Diane Kurys and both concern the unhappy marriage of her parents - a character based on herself appears in both movies. Coup de foudre begins before she was born with the meeting of her parents in a 'camp' in Occupied France during World War II. A guy whose release is already guaranteed spots Isabelle Huppert, falls in love on the spot (hense the title) and smuggles her a note proposing marriage. Somewhat bemused she agrees only to become angry because his name reeks of Jewishness. Somewhat improbably they remain together, have two daughters and settle in Lyon. Simultaneously we are introduced to the second leading character (Miou-Miou), an artist whose husband is shot by the Germans and dies in her arms. She too 'settles' for something less than love and marries an actor (Jean-Pierre Bacri) whose life is a succession of get-rich-quick schemes that backfire. The two women meet by chance in 1952 and form a friendship that soon eclipses anything they feel for their respective partners whilst stopping short of overt lesbianism. Huppert and Miou-Miou have their parts down cold and it's fascinating to see Bacri with a full head of hair looking remarkably like Louis Jordan. This is a wonderful film on our old friend the Human Condition illustrating just how easy it is to screw up our lives. The pertinent questions - like why did Huppert stay with someone she didn't love once she was clear of the Camp, let alone after the war, don't raise their quizzical heads til long afterwards such is the strength of both movie and performances. In La Baule-les-pins the Huppert character, Lena (now played by Nathalie Baye) is still with her husband but clearly only for a matter of time and the two girls are still in the thick of the misery. Both are highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first time I saw this film I thought it was a rip off of Jules and Jim which is one of the greatest movies of all time. Subsequent viewings have allowed me to appreciate this film in its own right. Entre Nous is a wonderful movie with two of the greatest actresses ever in Miou Miou and Isabelle Huppert. While a prior poster believes men cannot appreciate this film I disagree. As a man who has seen this repeatedly I believe it is a great great film about female friendship and the difficulties(perhaps inherent) in relationships. I don't know if that justifies a spoiler but just to be on the safe side I am checking the spoiler box.
I wasn't sure where this movie was going at first, but as it picks up the
pace there is little doubt as to whom the nous in the title
When Huppert says "Je tu manque" (pardon my French it is I hope close) "I miss you" she might as well be declaring the love that is boiling out of her. But there is the problem of the spouses to be resolved, and the children. Needless to say all is reconciled and true love triumphs.
I have seen this movie at least three times now and love it more each time. There is a tenderness between most of the characters (one is a lout pure and simple) but the others all strive to reconcile who they are to to events that enfold them. Their struggles hit all of the right notes (with the possible exception of a very steamy sex scene on a train which just doesn't work for me)
It is a tear jerker at times, but a beautiful tear jerker. and so I always did like those forties movies.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|External reviews||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|