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7.0
/10
1,011 Ratings

In the Shadow of Women

L'ombre des femmes

Directed by Philippe Garrel
France, 2015
Drama, Romance

Synopsis

Pierre and Manon are poor. They make documentaries with nothing and they live by doing odd jobs. Pierre meets a young intern, Elisabeth, and she becomes his mistress. But Pierre will not leave Manon for Elisabeth; he wants to keep both.

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In the Shadow of Women Directed by Philippe Garrel
Garrel moves gracefully between their perspectives, encouraging empathy with all three while also noting their limitations. The film is particularly astute when it comes to analyzing the hero’s “typically male” equivocation and entitlement; it’s also generous enough to let the character realize his errors before they ruin him. This may be Garrel’s lightest, most optimistic work, though that’s not to say that any of it feels frivolous.
February 12, 2016
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Garrel’s film is not a work of nostalgia but a film about nostalgia or, rather, the temptation and threat of nostalgia in the face of the endurance of the grand past, which dominates the present day. “In the Shadow of Women” resounds with a quiet astonishment at the epochal clashes and heroic exertions on which today’s private struggles depend.
January 15, 2016
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Merhar emotes so little than his bodily tremble during a climactic argument with his wife is seismic. Courau, on the other hand, frowns, dotes, laughs, and seems entirely human. If anything is natural to this pair, and to pairs elsewhere, it’s the tendency to imagine that our partners are somehow better than average, gifted and good—nothing short of infallible. Garrel pokes holes in and pokes fun at this pretension, but he has no rancor for his characters. Shorn of illusions, we can lie together.
January 14, 2016
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