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962 Ratings


Directed by Maurice Pialat
France, 1980
Romance, Drama


Pialat’s portrait of contemporary France mocks prosperity as a substitute for social and sexual revolution. Isabelle Huppert abandons her bourgeois friends and a steady relationship for the unemployed layabout Depardieu. His charms include focusing his energy into sex.

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Loulou Directed by Maurice Pialat

Critics reviews

However you feel about Pialat’s messy cruelty, his mean streak here finds its perfect avatar in Huppert’s embodiment of a modern-day Madame Bovary, lured from the safety of her marriage bed into the waiting arms of a smouldering lowlife. . . . Placed in our heroine’s shoes, it’s an easy choice—and a tale as old as time, but Huppert’s ferocity shades and contours this tired trope into a veritable tour de force.
January 22, 2018
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The resultant work—whose screenplay, such as it was, could not actually be completed, as Depardieu and Huppert had other projects to work on—is more fractious, fragmented, and narratively oblique than [Pialat’s] previous titles: a film for which the audience must build up its own response to a mystifying but engrossing sexual relationship based on an accumulation of individual snapshots.
October 16, 2015
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Pialat never set out to capture the pace of life as it felt to those living it—the films progress too jarringly for that; it’s even often difficult to parse how much time has elapsed between scenes and even cuts. What he came closer to was the sense of living under heightened awareness, be it from extreme passion, anger, or regret; and LOULOU, one of Pialat’s greatest films, is revelatory in its understanding of all three.
May 07, 2010
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What are people saying?

  • Jason's rating of the film Loulou

    Because his subject is essentially entropy (the swirling productive / destructive element of individuals and their relations), Pialat is a filmmaker whose form exists despite his vision. And his form is entirely unique (as is his spiritual cousin Cassavetes', w/ whom he shares a set of interests, but not a form). What is so amazing about Pialat is his elegance. This is an elegant film that promises it may explode.

  • T. J. Harman's rating of the film Loulou

    Getting to watch 2 of France's best actors (Depardieu & Huppert) act together can't ever be so bad a film experience. Billed as a sexy movie but ended up being a Cassavettes style piece of social realism about class, sex, family and relationships.

  • Ethan's rating of the film Loulou

    Isabelle Huppert gives an outstanding performance in this darkly sexual film that never lets up on its emotional intensity and the complex situations it presents. Pialat crafts an intricate portrait of people obsessed with ownership and sex and how the different types interact with each other.

  • Ghostman's rating of the film Loulou

    Featuring Huppert & Depardieu at their youthful prime, Loulou is a raw & intimate romantic drama. I liked the way he honestly showed the differences between the characters; in class, profession, desire, behavior, & outlook. I liked the way he told the story. And the ending was oddly touching. Sometimes all you really need in life is someone to walk you back home when you're wasted. A deeply felt piece of cinema.

  • josé neves's rating of the film Loulou

    Pialat films scenes by blocks, in which the camera follows the rant improvisational actors in search of action: cinema of performance, intense, unpredictable, complex. The nuances arise and conflicts are his base. Huppert and Depardieu never again were this good, with Pialat's camera to rape/embrace them in their presentation. Naturalism is made with the most concrete of stagings.

  • William R Clark's rating of the film Loulou

    The first thing to note is the intelligent cinematography, spontaneously but so immaculately composed; some intense chiaroscuro rambles off into different colors, some one-takes are just so casually complex. It boggles the mind.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Loulou

    A sort of anarchist exercise which implodes social conventions: work, family, motherhood, fatherhood, friendship, money. Ultimately, the social fabric having been torn apart -relatively gently by Pialat's standards- the dyadic relationship remains: vital, resilient, doomed. Depardieu's screen presence is intimidating and Huppert is superb as the amalgam of sensuality and sheer commitment. Difficult, but cool.

  • samuraiargento's rating of the film Loulou

    Pialat no hace "pequeños films", cuenta pequeñas historias sobre personas comunes y por medio de su relato, nos descubre lo extraordinario que existe en todas las vidas. No se pone -ni nos pone- en el lugar de un científico examinando una muestra en el microscopio o de un dios juzgando su obra, por el contrario, nos aproxima en puntas de pié, sin intervenir en las vidasde Loulou y Nancy y nos invita a sentir

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