A love story or a tale of the resistance, this poignant movie tells both the haunting story of a French resistance cell in Lyon but also the love of Lucie Aubrac for her husband, and the ... See full summary »
A love story or a tale of the resistance, this poignant movie tells both the haunting story of a French resistance cell in Lyon but also the love of Lucie Aubrac for her husband, and the lengths she goes to to rescue her husband from prison on more than one occasion. Based on a true story Lucie Aubrac works as both history lesson and love story. Written by
It's always problematical when a given actor/actress is replaced during filming for whatever reason. Personally I thought Ray Walston was fantastic in 'Kiss Me, Stupid' and can't visualize Peter Sellars even equalling Walston's performance, let alone eclipsing it. So it is here. One commentator bizarrely described Juliet Binoche as the best actress in France. I have every admiration for Binoche and see as many of her films as possible but has the commentator in question never heard of Isabelle Huppert, Nathalie Baye, Suzanne Flon, Sandrine Kiberlain, Manu Beart, etc. Nevertheless this is still a great movie and I for one cannot imagine anyone other than Carole Bouquet as the eponymous heroine. Were this fiction it may be thought a tad over the romantic top to have two lovers celebrate the date they first made love and take a vow to be together on that particular anniversary for as long as they live, but, as we know, this is a True story and BOTH lovers, Auteuil and Bouquet make it believable. There is a certain symmetry here too if anybody asks you. Having established under the credits an active Resistance group in which Auteuil (as Francois Samuel, 'Aubrac' was the Resistance name of the husband and wife team)is prominent we then see him at home in a tender scene with his wife (Bouquet) which establishes the secondary (or primary, depending on your point of view) theme of enduring love, and then, to put things in perspective, we see Lucie in her day job of schoolteacher, spelling out to les enfants the value of history as a learning tool and reminding them that even as they speak they are themselves living history. We are then into a somewhat conventional Resistance story. Brave freedom fighters captured and tortured, one woman's love overcoming the might of the occupying forces. It is interesting that Berri has opted to show Lyon as a sun-filled city - perhaps a hangover from his Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources gig a dozen years earlier - and this not only makes a contrast from the usual bleak, overcast, settings of other Resistance movies, but also points up the horror/barbarism occurring behind closed shutters while the sun pours down on France's Second City. Of course any film on the Resistance has to compete with 'L'Armee des Ombres' and, to a lesser extent, 'Laissez Passer' and if Lucie doesn't quite make it she makes a very creditable and honorable attempt. 8/10
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