Five desperate French soldiers during The Battle of the Somme shoot themselves, either by accident or with purpose, in order to be invalided back home. Having been "caught" a court-martial convenes and determines punishment to be banishment to No Man's Land with the objective of having the Germans finish them off. In the process of telling this tale each man's life is briefly explored along with their next of kin as Methilde, fiancée to one of the men, tries to determine the circumstances of her lover's death. This task is not made any easier for her due to a bout with polio as a child. Along the way she discovers the heights and depths of the human soul. Written by
The mournful tune that Mathilde plays on the tuba is "Aase's Death" from the Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg. See more »
In a dream sequence, the main character is seen dangling from the top deck of the lighthouse which in encircled by a steel railing. In a scene moments later, the two main characters are seen running around the top deck of the lighthouse which now has a solid white wall around the deck. However, Mathilde must have never been at the lighthouse before, that's why in her dream it looks differently from the actual one. Moreover, even familiar things and places often look strange and different in our dreams. See more »
Mathilde leans back against her chair, folds her hands in her lap, and looks at him. In the sweetness of the air, in the light of the garden, Mathilde looks at him. She looks at him... She looks at him...
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This is one of those times that a rating system breaks down. I gave this film a "10" only because there were no "20's" available.
This film, in its own way, seems to be able to fire on those same diverse cylinders that William Shakespeare so often did. It's a light and airy comedy. It's the bitterest of tragedies. It's a beautiful romance. It's an unfolding mystery. At it's heart it is a film of war. War, in all its boiling chaos, touches on all those experiences and more.
When I left the theater I was both elated and depressed. My elation came from having just had such a pure cinematic experience. My depression came from glancing at the marquee and reminding myself that I'll have to survive on the sort of cinema half-life provided by the pablum that normally makes it to the screen. Every now and again it's great to be reminded just how good a movie can be.
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