Lightly comic, with a touch of the burlesque, the fourth installment in François Truffaut’s chronicle of the ardent, anachronistic Antoine Doinel, Bed and Board, is a bittersweet look at the travails of young married life and the fine line between adolescence and adulthood.
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I'm not sure if Truffaut sold out to charm or if it's truly heartening that Antoine Doinel's painful childhood gave way to a gently comic adulthood. Naturally, Antoine still makes poor choices. This is Truffaut in fine form, examining new marriage while juggling a supporting cast in a courtyard that would make Renoir proud. Godard couldn't be this warm even if you threatened to burn his copy of the Little Red Book.
The third part of Truffaut's Antoine Doinel cycle is a cheeky, entertaining film that isn't much different from its predecessor Stolen Kisses. However what it lacks in originality it makes up for in improvements. For starters the script is tighter and the film is more thoroughly directed. I look forward to finishing the series off.
Though I view it as the weakest film in the series thus far, Antoine Doinel is too engaging for it to matter all that much. The best parts are the earlier sequence that has a lot of fun with visual space and the surreal moment that I won't dare spoil. The numerous references to other films are thankfully kept at a severe minimum so as to make them only lightly enjoyable nuggets. In all, a worthy successor.