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Le Bonheur (1965)

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


Agnès Varda


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





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


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


Seule, une femme pouvait oser faire ce film


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #420. See more »


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 »


François Chevalier: Were you sad?
Émilie Savignard: Not that much. I don't like sadness.
See more »


Features Picnic on the Grass (1959) See more »


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

User Reviews

Sheer beauty and subversion
2 March 2000 | by Luke JoplinSee all my reviews

At first sight, Le Bonheur seems just a conventional film, with everything being too perfect. Each single frame is a beautiful picture in composition and color. We see a happily married couple, with charming and beautiful children, nice family picnics in the country, the sublime music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in two of his most beautiful pieces (Adagio and Fugue in C minor and the Clarinet Quintet). Happiness (Bonheur) and harmony is everywhere.

But then the husband meets another woman, very different from his wife, falls in love with her, and proposes a thesis: for him, happiness is not a subtractive affair - it all adds up. After being in love with his new lover, he manages to love his wife and children even more. Love, happiness, harmony should never be too much, Agnès Varda seems to say. But is it possible? Or, better: do people make it possible? Shouldn't it be possible?

That's why this apparently bourgeois film is, in fact, revolutionary. It proposes a new vision on certain matters that is, ultimately, extremely subversive. And it does so in a most contrasting environment.

That said, it has some of the most gorgeous images in film to look at. The use of colour is amazing. And, exactly for being so beautiful, the conclusion is so shocking.

In short: one of the most important films in History, one of the most subversive, and certainly one of the most beautiful. We can only say: thank you, Agnès Varda, for making it. Hope people will understand it better, in the future, and grasp the challenge you have cast.

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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:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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