In Paris in the 1920s, a concert violinist meets and falls in love with a stylish young flapper who's the wife of an old friend. Romaine instigates the affair with Marcel, and carries it ... See full summary »
In Paris in the 1920s, a concert violinist meets and falls in love with a stylish young flapper who's the wife of an old friend. Romaine instigates the affair with Marcel, and carries it forward even as her husband, Pierre, falls ill. She may even be purposely giving Pierre a treatment that adds to his misery. After Marcel returns from a concert tour and Romaine stoops to a new low in abandoning Pierre for an assignation, she reconsiders the affair and takes a drastic step. Three years later, Pierre pays Marcel a visit to demand the truth. Will the jealous and aggrieved Marcel manage a convincing performance? Written by
The introductory credits are presented as a book containing textual information as well as pictures. The pages are turned by a female hand and turning the last (introductory) page opens the story (film). See more »
The title is a chic abbreviation for 'melodrama', of which there's no shortage in this urbane period piece about a lovelorn musician enjoying an affair with the wife of his best friend. Director Alain Resnais makes no attempt to open up Henry Bernstein's 1929 stage play or hide its theatrical trappings, going so far as to fade in and out of a shot of closed curtains between each 'act'. The story offers plenty of food for thought, but the nuances of each relationship are undermined by the often dry and detached script readings, punctuated by moments of deliberate histrionic overkill, most of them provided by (an all-too animated) Sabine Azema, playing the wife of one man and mistress to another. Nevertheless it's a welcome return to Earth for an erstwhile pioneer of some of the most opaque French New Wave cinema, showing a subtlety rare even for such highbrow entertainment.
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