8.0/10
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Vivre Sa Vie (1962)

Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 20 September 1962 (France)
Trailer
2:22 | Trailer
Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writers:

Marcel Sacotte (book), Jean-Luc Godard (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Karina ... Nana Kleinfrankenheim
Sady Rebbot Sady Rebbot ... Raoul (as Saddy Rebbot)
André S. Labarthe André S. Labarthe ... Paul
Guylaine Schlumberger Guylaine Schlumberger ... Yvette (as G. Schlumberger)
Gérard Hoffman Gérard Hoffman ... Le chef
Monique Messine ... Elisabeth
Paul Pavel Paul Pavel ... Journaliste
Dimitri Dineff Dimitri Dineff ... Dimitri
Peter Kassovitz Peter Kassovitz ... Jeune homme (as Peter Kassowitz)
Eric Schlumberger Eric Schlumberger ... Luigi (as E. Schlumberger)
Brice Parain Brice Parain ... Le philosophe
Henri Attal Henri Attal ... Arthur (as Henri Atal)
Gilles Quéant Gilles Quéant ... Premier client
Odile Geoffroy Odile Geoffroy ... La serveuse de café
Marcel Charton Marcel Charton ... L'agent de police
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Storyline

This film explores a Parisian woman's descent into prostitution. The movie is comprised of a series of 12 "tableaux"-- scenes which are basically unconnected episodes, each presented with a worded introduction. Written by Alan Katz <katz@panther.middlebury.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The many faces of a woman trying to find herself in a world of men.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Quotes

Nana: It's exhausting loving you. I always have to beg. I exist too.
See more »


Soundtracks

Ma môme
(uncredited)
Written by Jean Ferrat and Pierre Frachet
Sung by Jean Ferrat
Conducted by Alain Goraguer
See more »

User Reviews

 
Godard's character study is one of his strongest films... and one of the most moving films period
8 March 2014 | by crculverSee all my reviews

VIVRE SA VIE was Jean-Luc Godard's fourth feature film. The protagonist Nana (Anna Karina) is a young Parisian woman who is not especially bright, but full of life and endowed with great beauty. Unable to make ends meet by working at a record shop, and unable to break into films as she dreams, she starts to work as a prostitute. Postwar French law permitted prostitution, with certain rules and regulations that the film explains in a documentary-like segment. Nana, who yearns to live her life according to her own desires, initially thinks that this new profession has set her free from cares. In fact, Nana's liberation from penury through prostitution only subjects her to new constraints imposed by her pimp and clientèle. The film, divided into twelve tableaux with fade-to-black transitions that quicken as it goes on (which one commentator compares to breathing faster and faster) brings us to one of the most shocking endings I have ever seen.

This is a superlative film. Clocking in at 85 minutes, it lasts exactly as long as its story demands, with not a single moment that feels superfluous. Everything fits together, perfectly even things that ought to seem extraneous, the overindulgence of the auteur. Early in the film Nana goes to see Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent film "La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc", and this is not a mere gratuitous tribute to earlier cinema as is common in French New Wave films. Nana speaks with an elderly philosopher in a café, who is in fact the real-life philosopher Brice Parain whose dialogue here consists of his own writings, and yet this is not shallow intellectualism. Rather, these scenes increase the three-dimensionality of Nana as a character: not very intelligent and with negligible education, an easy woman since long before the film begins, but feeling strongly that there must be more out there.

The believability of Nana as a character is increased all the more by Anna Karina's masterful performance. When coming to Godard's films, after the filmmaker has taken a beating from some circles, one might think that Karina was simply a beauty with no especial talent that enchanted the director due to her looks and foreign origin. Nope, the Danish actress here presents a completely believable Parisian airhead who is so easily moved by sentimental art.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

20 September 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

My Life to Live See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$64,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,336, 1 June 2008

Gross USA:

$24,517

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,517
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored integral)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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