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The things that you own....

Author: dbdumonteil
22 March 2017

....end up owning you .

That's what the "fisherman's three wishes" fairy tale a mischievous Pierre Arditi tells Marjoline showed a long time ago.

End of WW2 .The "Trente Glorieuses" (the thirty -year boom period after WW2) have begun ;people had a new appetite for a better live :radio commercials (the song about the Finet heat-giving ,performed à la Charles Trénet,is priceless ),catalogs full of technological wonders ,and the opportunity to buy on credit ..

Marjoline married just after the war ;whilst the husband finds his pleasure in scientific research ,the wife wants "something new" .The movie takes time to take off,but when Daniel takes his beloved one to the old family house where he intends to end his days (he 's hardly thirty!),she reacts as Madame Bovary would have done 75 years before:she wants a comfortable apartment ,with all modern conveniences.The passion -not very credible ,in spite of a love scene with nudity -and a pipe-,has metamorphosed into indifference :the boy kissing his wife whilst she's flipping through a catalog ,much more interested in the things .In the apartment ,actually a rabbit hutch ,which faces another residential block "the windows of which mirror your happiness",the (real) estate agent says ,with a beatific smile.

This is also a good depiction of those years when France lifts up its head ;we can hear several optimistic messages on the radio, although the news Pierre Arditi reads on his newspaper talk about the instability of the government ;the Corean war is looming on the horizon;and a line hints to the cropped women of the Liberation.The score,very tasteful,enhances the accordion .

On the minus side ,the two principals ,particularly Lea Seydoux,do not really win me over,and it's the supporting cast who walks away with the honors: the always reliable Pierre Arditi who gets better with the time ,like good wine.Ditto for the actresses:a sensational Arielle Dombasle blows sulky Seydoux off the screen every time she appears;and the marvelous Ariane Ascaride ,as a doctor ahead of her time ,makes her one scene count .

Based on an Elsa Triolet novel,"Roses A Crédit" (=roses on time) ,in spite of a disappointing ending ,is an interesting depiction of the beginning of the consumer society which ,more than ever,is still ours today.

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