January, 1920. 350,000 French soldiers remain missing in action. Major Dellaplane tirelessly matches the dead and the wounded with families' descriptions. Honor and ethics drive him; he hates the idea of "the unknown soldier." Into his sector, looking for her husband, comes a haughty, politically connected Parisian, Madame Irène de Courtil. Brusquely, Dellaplane offers her 1/350,000th of his time, but as their paths cross and she sees his courage and resolve, feelings change. After he finds a surprising connection between her missing husband and a local teacher, Irène makes Dellaplane an offer. This man of action hesitates: has he missed his only chance? Written by
When I saw this movie at the Montreal Film Festival, I was impressed by this contemplative movie. Like any contemplation, it sees everything about human nature and subtly refers to it. No flash, no gadgets, no lectures, just the plain vision of things as they are. He just lets you to be the judge of things. Then, I became a great fan of Tavernier's movies. This movie occupied my mind for ever after and never left me. This movie also confirmed how useless and dreadful this war was, and maybe how ridiculous most wars are. Perhaps my favourite movie ever. Anyway, a must see.
This movie has a sequel called Captain Conan which also shows Tavernier's prowess in making art and intelligent cinema where a lot of characters are involved and seem so natural.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?