Though married to the good-natured, beautiful Thérèse (Claire Drouot), young husband and father François (Jean-Claude Drouot) finds himself falling unquestioningly into an affair with an attractive postal worker.
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I watched this film for the second time and must say that it's a perfect example for Agnès Varda's mastery. Her work with the camera (especially the photographic character of some sequences), the use of colours and the comments through lettering and words found in the urban space are exceptional.
I've been thinking about this one for days since I watched it. The more I mull it over, the more I'm in awe of how smart Varda is. The messages weaved throughout the frames of this film were placed so thoughtfully and so cleverly, which is something to be admired as satire is sometimes difficult to execute without being either hokey or overly obscure. Absolutely chilling film.
Delicate and beautiful. I love Agnes Varda. The use of color, especially in the clothes, freshly painted doorways, and other objects, seems very much the influence of Jaques Demy (unless it was Varda who influenced him). Especially when Francois is painting the toy garage, this seems to be an obvious reference to Umbrellas of Cherbourg. 4.4 stars.
Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) is a penetrating criticism of gender roles in society. Varda's portrayal of women as interchangeable, supine, passive, docile, lobotomized dolls in Le Bonheur is frankly offensive.
Un chef d'oeuvre dans l'esprit de Maupassant.
La fable cruelle du menuisier, de la couturière et de la postière.
Un clou chasse l'autre dit-on en menuiserie.
Ou une histoire de lettre qui ne manque pas de piquant.
Ni de tranchant.
The cruel tale of the carpenter, the seamstress and the postmistress.
A story of letter that does not lack sharpness.
Or cutting edge.
Extraordinary film from Agnes Varda. The brilliant editing and use of primary colour in its rich camera work are fascinating. The dark side of happiness lurks underneath the surface story where despite a man's contentment with his love and family life he still has an affair stating he has 'enough joy' for both women. Performances are excellent with Jean-Claude Drouot's real family playing his wife and kids.
Much like taking care of flowers, love requires patience. You must allow to it sprout at it's own pace, as too much water will lead to a horrible end. Similarly, to much love inevitably sparks jealousy. Varda's masterpiece is a strange blend of a naturalistic direction and a idyllic portrayal of love that seems so good it's borderline fake. Deep down, as much as we wish for it not to, we know something's gonna pop.
I don't think I've ever quite seen a film like this one. Varda approaches the material with a unique style that's at once ironic but without being satirical, or is it? It's difficult to describe in words, but I applaud her for taking the risks she did. The colors and compositions are beautiful. Especially when Francois and Emilie are in bed, their bodies look like some form of modern art. A wonderful gem of a film.