A young woman is forced by circumstance into a loveless marriage while still in love with another. This episodic tale follows their story through three decades of bitter conflict which engulfs their children and those around them.
Wed just as war breaks out, Jeanne hardly gets to know her military husband, Louis, before the debacle of 1940. While waiting for his return from a POW camp, Jeanne journeys through ... See full summary »
Anne Goupil is a literature student in Paris in 1957. Her elder brother, Pierre, takes her to a friend's party where the guests include Philip Kaufman, an expatriate American escaping ... See full summary »
Irene Wagner, the wife of prominent scientist Albert Wagner, finds herself blackmailed about her affair by her lover's jealous ex-girlfriend. The plot, an experiment in causing fear, drives her into a rage.
A man and woman meet by chance at a romantic inn over dinner. Although both are married to others, they find themselves in the same bed the next morning questioning how this could have ... See full summary »
The intersecting stories of three people who face difficult choices in life-changing situations are used to illustrate the theories espoused by Henri Laborit about human behavior and the relationship between the self and society.
Husband and wife Ludovic and Karine, and Ludovic's sixteen year old daughter Nelsa lead a relatively carefree life. Motorcycle riding Ludovic, a dance instructor, changes jobs every three years to keep himself interested in whatever he's doing. Ludovic recently remarried, this time to landscape designer Karine, a younger, beautiful woman who regardless is insecure due to her immaturity. Since she doesn't know how to handle that insecurity, Ludovic has placed Karine in various forms of therapy to help her with her life. Nelsa can see the cruelties that life has to offer, and although she doesn't like them, tries to embrace them to expose them for what they are. Ludovic wants to give everybody in his life, including Karine and Nelsa, as much freedom as they need to be happy. Husband and wife Pascal and Marthe and their adolescent son Eric lead a typical middle class life. Pharmaceutical salesman Pascal likes to think of himself as important to bolster his own sense of masculinity, which...Written by
This popular French comedy deservedly received a lot of international acclaim and awards on its original release and still pleases when watched today almost 40 years later; apart from the Cesars and the Golden Globes, the film received 3 Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Film (which it lost to Ivory Coast's BLACK AND WHITE IN COLOR – which I also caught up with just now), Best Actress (Marie-Christine Barrault losing out to NETWORK's Faye Dunaway) and Best Original Screenplay (again won by NETWORK). Interestingly enough, in both the Actress and Screenplay categories, there were two foreign nominees apiece: Barrault and Liv Ullman in Ingmar Bergman's FACE TO FACE and, for Screenplay, Lina Wertmuller's SEVEN BEAUTIES and, incidentally, both directors made the cut among the final 5 nominees for Best Direction!
Barrault and her female co-star Marie-France Pisier (a Cesar winner herself here and, for my money, more deserving of an Oscar nod than the latter) are the only familiar names in a sympathetic cast; even director Tacchella seems to have been a one-hit wonder. Bafflingly, COUSIN COUSINE had been 'announced' as an upcoming Criterion title since the earliest days of DVD (in fact, the copy I watched culled from a US TV screening sports the tell-tale "Janus Film" header before the film's opening credits) but this release never came to pass! For what it is worth, this is one of the earliest examples of a Gallic success being revamped for Hollywood consumption, when it was remade by Joel Schumacher as COUSINS (1989) with Ted Danson, Isabella Rossellini and Sean Young.
In any case, the plot line is simple enough: an extended family is reunited for two weddings and a funeral (anticipating the popular 1994 British farce FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL by 20 years!) and a series of infidelities come to the fore between two particular couples. Barrault's chronically womanizing husband (Guy Marchand) had been cheating on her with (among many others) the vulnerable Pisier, whose own restless spouse (Victor Lanoux) starts an initially secretly platonic but subsequently openly passionate affair with Barrault. There are several memorably delightful episodes which add to the charm of the film: during the wedding reception of Barrault's mother, the groom proposes to sing but when vetoed, proceeds to indulge in "mooning" (baring his buttocks in public); when Marchand decides after the opening wedding ceremony to mend his philandering ways, he is shown running from one flame to the next to end their relationship...ultimately being thrown off a bus by the burly female driver!; at the second marriage, Marchand again keeps getting into fisticuffs with the bridegroom's father, a former business partner who had defrauded him, etc. The whole is set to a jaunty musical accompaniment courtesy of yet another obscure element, one Gerard Anfosso.
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