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The Woman Next Door (1981)

La femme d'à côté (original title)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

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Two ex-lovers wind up living next door to each other with their respective spouses. Forbidden passions ensue.

Director:

François Truffaut

Writers:

François Truffaut (original scenario), Suzanne Schiffman (original scenario) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gérard Depardieu ... Bernard Coudray
Fanny Ardant ... Mathilde Bauchard
Henri Garcin Henri Garcin ... Philippe Bauchard
Michèle Baumgartner Michèle Baumgartner ... Arlette Coudray
Roger Van Hool Roger Van Hool ... Roland Duguet
Véronique Silver Véronique Silver ... Madame Odile Jouve
Philippe Morier-Genoud Philippe Morier-Genoud ... Doctor
Nicole Vauthier Nicole Vauthier
Muriel Combe Muriel Combe
Olivier Becquaert Olivier Becquaert ... Thomas Coudray
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Storyline

Madame Jouve, the narrator, tells the tragedy of Bernard and Mathilde. Bernard was living happily with his wife Arlette and his son Thomas. One day, a couple, Philippe and Mathilde Bauchard, moves into the next house. This is the accidental reunion of Bernard and Mathilde, who had a passionate love affair years ago. The relationship revives... A somber study of human feelings. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

30 September 1981 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Woman Next Door See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

François Truffaut decided to write the script of this movie when he saw 'Gerard Depardieu' and Fanny Ardant sit side-by-side at the Cesar's night. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Madame Odile Jouve: I suspect that Mathilde and Bernard won't be buried together. if I had to select an epitaph for them it would be, "Neither with you, nor without you.", but I doubt whether I'll be asked.
See more »

Connections

References Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truffaut is no Chabrol
19 August 2014 | by Alan PSee all my reviews

This is perhaps the most Chabrol-ian of Truffaut films. It has the lighthearted sense of wonder that permeates even Truffaut's darkest films (such as this one)but the claustrophobic, cerebral tension of a Chabrol film.

But while Chabrol always embraced the dementedness of his subject matter, Truffaut doesn't really acknowledge the truth of how awful his characters' lives are. Truffaut looks for beauty and wonder in everything, even things that don't merit it. He is fascinated by their quirkiness and doesn't really acknowledge the consequences of their actions on the people around them.

In addition, this film, like many of Truffaut's, is mystified by women, while perhaps being too accepting of men. Chabrol, as male- centric as his films can be, spares neither gender in his depictions of mental illness and emotional cruelty.

But in this film, the camera dwells on Fanny Ardant's nervous, quivering face, even when she's going about her daily business, as if to invite the audience to gawk at her feminine hysteria. Meanwhile, the camera goes easy on Gerard Depardieu, staying at a comfortable distance and never lingering, no matter how irrational and strange his character acts.

It's most interesting for its parts - the scenery (including Gerard Depardieu's workplace, which is a canal full of model oil tankers), the cinematography, the acting, the Delerue music, et al.

But it's missing something. If you enjoy the naive, bewildered, and subtly misogynistic perspective that Truffaut takes in this movie, you might love it. Truffaut came from the same worldview in "Jules and Jim" - "the world is wonderful and women are crazy" - but in that movie, he had a tongue-in-cheek style and playful, larger- than-life story to go along with it. This movie has a more realistic, down-to-earth plot and setting, and Truffaut's weaknesses show through.

If you're not a Chabrol fan, you likely won't be able to put your finger on what's missing. But if you're a Chabrol fan, you've seen this story before, and you've seen it done better.


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