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Le Bonheur (1965)

Le bonheur (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 16 May 1997 (USA)
Trailer
2:22 | Trailer

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François, a young carpenter, lives a happy, uncomplicated life with his wife Thérèse and their two small children. One day he meets Emilie, a clerk in the local post office.

Director:

Agnès Varda

Writer:

Agnès Varda
Reviews
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Claude Drouot ... François Chevalier
Marie-France Boyer ... Émilie Savignard
Marcelle Faure-Bertin Marcelle Faure-Bertin ... (as Marcelle Favre-Bertin)
Manon Lanclos Manon Lanclos
Sylvia Saurel Sylvia Saurel
Marc Eyraud Marc Eyraud ... J. Forestier - le frère de François
Christian Riehl Christian Riehl
Paul Vecchiali Paul Vecchiali ... Paul
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Storyline

Francois is a young carpenter married with Therese. They have two little children. All goes well, life is beautiful, the sun shines and the birds sing. One day, Francois meets Emilie, they fall in love and become lovers. He still loves his wife and wants to share his new greater happiness with her. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Seule, une femme pouvait oser faire ce film

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

16 May 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Happiness See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Parc Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie François and Therese are going to see starring Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau is Viva Maria! (1965) See more »

Goofs

At roughly 06:30, when François helps his daughter open the car back door, a cameraman's reflection is clearly visible in the car door window. See more »

Quotes

François Chevalier: You know, I met my wife when I was in the service. It was love at first sight. We married when I got out. Had I met you first, I'd live with you.
See more »

Connections

References Detective Story (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio and Fugue in C minor - KV 546
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

A cunning but sincere examination of the nuclear family and its problems
24 August 2006 | by CaptEccoSee all my reviews

A man in a happy marriage with two kids begins an affair, sincerely feeling he has enough love for both women and that neither one will be loved less. To start with, it's absolutely beautiful to look at. Varda always seems to know exactly what to do with the image, where to put the camera, which direction to move, when to cut, what color to fade to; everything is absolutely perfect.

Moreover, the film is completely fascinating first because Varda deals with her subject with a rare honesty and forgiveness. Not a single character is unlikeable. Even if you see error in the husband's thinking, it is clear he believes with all of his heart that he truly can love both of these women at once and you sympathize with his sincerity. The wife is easy to care for, a good mother and very devoted, and the mistress is not someone you feel compelled to hate, either. She's not out to break up this marriage and she seems to really need this love.

And what makes the film endlessly interesting is in how ambiguous Varda is about her own feelings. She never leads you to pick a side, never encourages you to see one specific viewpoint or leave the film feeling a particular way about what happened. While the music (Mozart is used throughout most of the film) in the last 15 minutes would seem to suggest anger at the way things have turned out, you can also look at the early stages of the film and see the image of the idyllic family with pastoral music as too perfect a presentation, one that is not entirely believable. Varda even hints at this herself; after we've watched about five minutes of this family picnicking in the woods, she cuts almost immediately to nearly the same image in a TV advertisement, suggesting that a marriage that happy only exists in commercials to begin with.


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