This is a film you either love or hate. The plot is well constructed, the acting solid, even outstanding in parts (particularly the interview between Paul Delorme and Mme Pitot), the dialogue believable. Where it strains is in the odd surrealist fades, which leave the viewer confused for long moments until he figures out what is going on. The screenplay leaves untied a lot of loose ends that the book cleared up rather nicely, but in the 95 minutes available this is not too surprising. What is surprising, given the complexity of the plot and sub-plots, is how well the characters get developed in such a short film, especially some of the minor characters with little on-screen time. Michel Piccoli and Sylvie Vartan deliver sterling performances, and Mlle Vartan clearly demonstrates that she is not just another pretty face trying to change careers, but a consummate actress with great dramatic ability.
In common with too many French films, the soundtrack is poor quality (the interiors of French buildings tend to be large echo chambers, and this is never corrected in the postproduction sound processing), which probably won't bother an English speaking viewer too greatly, but makes following the unsubtitled version difficult, even for a native French speaker.
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