During World War II a french Jewish family is deported to Auschwitz. On the train to the death camp, in a desperate gesture, the father throws one of his twins out into the snow, where he's discovered by a childless Polish couple.
Paris, 1967. Jean-Luc Godard, the maker of "A bout de souffle", "Le Mépris" and "Pierrot le fou", idolized by critics and intellectuals, is shifting from revolutionizing cinema to becoming a revolutionary tout court. Isn't he shooting "La Chinoise", more a political tract in favor of Maoism than an actual movie? His female star is Anne Wiazemsky, writer François Mauriac's granddaughter, sixteen years his junior. Anne and Jean-Luc have been dating since 1966 and they marry this very year. She admires Jean-Luc's originality, intelligence, wit and boldness while he loves Anne's freshness and - admiration of him. But May 1968 puts their marriage to the test. Godard, who is more and more involved in the revolution, indeed becomes less and less available to his young wife, which does not prevent him from acting jealous. It also looks as if the genius is losing his sense of humor.Written by
A fascinating insight into the mind of one of the most important French directors of all time
Movies about real historical events and persons from everyday perspective are cool.
This one's about the legendary French director Jean-Luc Godard (played by Louis Garrel) reaching middle-age and marrying a young girl (Stacy Martin). It turns out Goddard, idolized by movie lovers and critcs, turns out to be the immature one in the relationship.
Like any good movie about relationships should, "Le redoutable" has both moments of laughter and soul wrenching drama. But above all, this is a character portrait of a increasingly domineering and unpleasant man.
Writer-director Michel Hazanavicius approaches the study of the character from the deep psychological standpoint. He does not offer some easy and populist way of explaining the reasons behind tormented genius's growing disagreeableness over time.
Just like in real life, there's no one single cause for how one behaves, especially not something external that would be easy to blame and would adequately summarize everything that's going on in human soul (bad influence, broken heart etc).
If the viewer is not willing or able to go that deep, there's still enough going on to justify the time spent. The movie is humorous - especially in the first half - and offers a vivid overview about how destructive immature people can become in loving relationship if they wrestle with power and intimacy issues.
In Godard's character, I found much of myself and what I've had to wrestle with in relationships - and still have to. So watching it was a bit depressing for me, for probably nobody enjoys seeing one's ow faults so clearly from aside (in others).
The second half turns increasingly darker in mood and get exhausting because there's basically only one situation filling the story which gets repeated over and over again. The lack of variety is the reason of me hesitating to give it higher score than 7 out of 10.
The story centers mostly on Godard and young wife, Anne Wiazemsky, and their performances are really good. These are demanding roles because the marital discord doesn't grow from one explosive conflict to another but accumulating stress and tension between two people, expressed mostly in subtle bodily or facial impressions that the camera eagerly catches.
This kind of inner burning based suspense is surely difficult to build on screen, and both stars are really good at it (with the help of the director, of course).
I enjoyed Stacy Martin's performance especially, for in a way, she has fewer resources to build the character than Garrel whose Godard does most of the talking.
Martin gives a beautifully restrained but emotive performance as the ever-suffering wife. She's the emotional backbone of the story and probably the one thing you'll remember the best from the movie.
Based on the memoir of Anne Wiazemsky, who became a novelist and published the book on her life with French cinema genius in 2015. Godard lives on, but she passed away just weeks ago, October 5th this year, succumbing to battle with breast cancer at the age of 70.
Michel Hazanavicius is best known for "The Artist" that got nominated for ten Oscars, and won five, in 2012, including for the best movie and director.
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