7.6/10
4,295
37 user 30 critic

Le Bonheur (1965)

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

Director:

Agnès Varda

Writer:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Vagabond (1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young woman's body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, Stéphane Freiss
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Cleo, a singer and hypochondriac, becomes increasingly worried that she might have cancer while awaiting test results from her doctor.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

There are two parts to this film: sequences of life in the fishing village of La Pointe Courte (a government inspector's visit, the death of a child) alternate with others following a ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Silvia Monfort, Marcel Jouet
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Jacquot Demy is a little boy at the end of the thirties. His father owns a garage and his mother is a hairdresser. The whole family lives happily and likes to sing and to go to the movies. ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Philippe Maron, Edouard Joubeaud, Laurent Monnier
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Agnès Varda explores her memories, mostly chronologically, with photographs, film clips, interviews, reenactments, and droll, playful contemporary scenes of her narrating her story.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Agnès Varda, André Lubrano, Blaise Fournier
Uncle Yanco (1967)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While in San Francisco for the promotion of her last film in October 1967, Agnès Varda, tipped by her friend Tom Luddy, gets to know a relative she had never heard of before, Jean Varda, ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Jean Varda, Tom Luddy, Agnès Varda
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The intertwined lives of two women in 1970s France, set against the progress of the women's movement in which Agnes Varda was involved. Pomme and Suzanne meet when Pomme helps Suzanne ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Thérèse Liotard, Valérie Mairesse, Robert Dadiès
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Varda films and interviews gleaners in France in all forms, from those picking fields after the harvest to those scouring the dumpsters of Paris.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: François Wertheimer, Agnès Varda, Bodan Litnanski
Faces Places (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Director Agnes Varda and photographer/muralist J.R. journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship.

Directors: JR, Agnès Varda
Stars: Agnès Varda, JR, Jeannine Carpentier
Mur murs (1981)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Agnes Varda's documentary on murals in Los Angeles.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Juliet Berto, Judy Baca, Samapriya Dasi
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A short film of interviews and protests at a rally to free Huey Newton.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver
Documenteur (1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young French woman, separated from her lover, tries to find a lodging in L.A. for herself and her son.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Sabine Mamou, Mathieu Demy, Lisa Blok-Linson
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Brilliant and Provocative Film
8 July 2002 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

"It all adds up", says Francois to his mistress Emilie, explaining why he can love her and his wife Therese and his children equally. In her brilliant and provocative 1965 film, Le Bonheur, Agnes Varda (The Gleaners and I, Vagabond, Cleo From 5 to 7), raises the question of whether "open marriage" can work and answers it with a definite "maybe".

As the film opens, a carpenter, Francois (Jean-Claude Drouot), and his young (real-life) family are experiencing a Sunday afternoon picnic in the park. Shot in pastels and making use of exquisite color fades, Ms. Varda immerses us in the flowers, trees, and lakes of the French countryside. We are lulled by Mozart's languid Clarinet Quintet, yet soon sense that something is amiss. Communication appears superficial and few feelings are expressed. This mood carries over to the scene in their apartment complex where, in a family gathering that includes aunts and uncles, not much happens in the way of conversation.

When Francois is away on business, he meets an attractive telephone operator named Emilie. Soon he declares his love for her and claims that he has enough love within him to include her in his life, "I love you both and if I met you first, you would be my wife". Being honest and open, Francois tells Therese that he has loved another woman for over a month, but says that his love for her and his family remains stronger than ever. The love that Francois experiences is - the film states again and again - a natural occurrence, an addition, not a subtraction. However, Therese cannot separate herself from what has become her identity as wife and mother, leading to tragic consequences. She was, in the words of the lovely song, "Tree of Life", "only known as someone's mother, someone's daughter, or someone's wife."

At the end of the film, Mozart's Clarinet Quintet is replaced by the darker Adagio and Fugue in C Minor. Francois replaces one woman with another and continues his life without reflection, guilt, or self-doubt. In Le Bonheur, the characters are painfully pure and do not question their actions. Perhaps Ms.Varda is saying that, for Francois, happiness is seamless, that it will continue regardless, and that, in his world, people are simply viewed as interchangeable parts. In Varda's words, happiness is "a beautiful fruit that tastes of cruelty".

Agnès Varda's has said, "In my films, I always wanted to make people see deeply. I don't want to show things, but to give people the desire to see". One of the seminal works of the French New Wave, Le Bonheur was audacious in its day and still leaves us unsettled, 37 years later, yet able to see more deeply.


30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed