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Frédéric van den Driessche,
Delphine's traveling companion cancels two weeks before her holiday, so Delphine, a Parisian secretary, is at loose ends. She doesn't want to travel by herself, but has no boyfriend and seems unable to meet new people. A friend takes her to Cherbourg; after a few days there, the weepy and self-pitying Delphine goes back to Paris. She tries the Alps, but returns the same day. Next, it's the beach: once there, she chats with an outgoing Swede, a party girl, and a friendship seems to bud; then, suddenly, Delphine bolts, heading back to Paris. As she waits at the Biarritz train station, a young man catches her eye; perhaps a sunset and the sun's green ray await. Written by
The Green Ray is certainly a strange fish - quite simply it's about a single girl's (almost)wasted summer, going on holiday 3 times, and each time finding herself bored and frustrated, and ultimately an outsider. We see scene after scene of holiday makers having a good time, and poor Delphine just not feeling at ease. She is somewhat opinionated, for example in the vegetarian lecture - we've all had to sit through one of those, and liable to burst into self-pitying tears, but Delphine never the less gets my respect for her refusal to opt for second best.
Very few directors would be brave enough to make a film like this, but Rohmer pulls it off magnificently, and in the process delivers one of his finest movies. I can see why some viewers might find it a waste of time, but having been on a couple of solo holidays in the past I can sympathise with Delphine's predicament. Plus The Green Ray rewards the patient with a truly poetic finale.
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