Based on a little known autobiographical novel and set during and immediately after France's 'Belle Époque', this was Truffaut's third feature and still the one by which he is most affectionately known; a 'ménage-à-trois' tale of two men in love with the same woman. Endlessly inventive and unquenchably high-spirited, it's a celebration of love and cinema and is both playful and tragic and consistently full of energy.
It is fast-pace, a bit uneven, but not abrupt. Sometimes, you don't really look for a perfect film but just something honest enough that would make you reflect on love and its complexity; the possibility to permute affection; and the possibility of unconditional faith on another person.
My favorite Truffaut thus far. It's impact is similar to L'Atalante as, much like that gem, this film's effect gets stronger the further you get from it which is in line with it's theme of life as defined by moments. Jeanne Moreau is truly extraordinary. She is the woman all men crave. She fits comfortably in their demand. But she ,who is La Nouvelle Vague given flesh, refuses to give in and let go of her freedom.
I'd watch anything with Jeanne Moreau, and her character Catherine remains elusive throughout the film. At one point she's even referred to as a "force of nature." You can't go wrong with Raoul Coutard behind the camera and Georges Delerue in charge of the soundtrack.
It started off amazingly - albeit on fast forward - but as the film went on, I got more annoyed with the two main men and how the woman seemed to wrap them around her finger. It's just frustrating and I fear that interferes with the good qualities of this film :(
Continually a feeling of freedom, freshness and pace is in play as farce and tragedy are easily intermixed. Love rises, falls, changes and comes back again. This is not only expressed through the narrative, but through Truffaut's cinematic language that still feels so lively today.
“Comecei um filme acreditando que ele seria divertido e ao longo do percurso reparei que só a tristeza o poderia salvar” (Truffaut). De facto, o filme inicia com o tom da jovialidade num romance pontuado pela inconformidade da infância. O início da guerra vai dar origem à dor e à tragédia. Para Catherine a impossibilidade de uma vida ideal e a perda da inocência não deixa senão uma saída possível, o suicídio.