Paris, 1942. Lucas Steiner is a Jew and was compelled to leave the country. His wife Marion, an actress, directs the theater for him. She tries to keep the theater alive with a new play, and hires Bernard Granger for the leading role. But Lucas is actually hiding in the basement... A film about art and life.Written by
Truffaut does a better job of drawing the torn loyalties of a woman in love than any other film-maker I know, including women. Both "Jules et Jim" feature love triangles between a woman and two men. While Catherine in the more famous earlier work is a wildly bewitching girl, Deneuve's Marion is a beautifully mature stoic, even when her Jewish husband Lucas, hiding out in the cellar, vents his understandable spleen about his isolation on her, driving her into the arms of Bernard, her young leading actor. I cannot understand what another commentator said about the movie not letting the viewer in. It does - and how much more than anything from Hollywood! It's just that it's a film made for audiences with a modicum of experience in life and love. But for those, it's got it all. A plot that literally kept me on the edge of my seat for the last half-hour; splendid performances not only from Deneuve and young Depardieu but also from the craggily handsome German actor Heinz Bennent as Lucas, and the supporting cast; laugh-out-loud funny moments, gooily romantic moments, spine-chilling moments of fright. A declaration of love to women and the theatre. I give it a ten.
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