Beautiful film. Great plot, superb acting by Boyer, De Sica, and the lovely Darrieux, and a tragic final act. I just loved this film, hard to say more. Ophuls created a masterpiece here, with the great use of tracking shots and the pacing throughout. Methinks Orson saw this before making Touch of Evil. All the accolades have already been said. All I can add is after seeing this and La Ronde, I must see more. 5 stars.
It takes considerable skill to feel touched by the laughably ornate romantic entrapments of the most decadently wealthy and materialistic people. The dancing scenes are like magic in their mobility and effortlessly elegant movement, the camera simply gliding and floating with precision and a looseness that makes you forget that there even is a camera. Masterful filmmaking here
"I detest the whole world. i want to be seen by you and you alone." And I want nothing more as the viewer to look at her face. That is the genius of this movie... A plot pinned together by earrings. Not even Tolstoy could pull that off.
Like Mizoguchi, Ophuls's best films are haunted by the dread of a fall from grace; death -here, in "Letter From An Unknown Woman" and the death promised at the end of "Lola Montes"- follows but underlines the greater social death of social disgrace. A film about the endless exchange of goods at the expense of their owners, and the vampiric consumption of people by the cruel society that their possessions represent.
The premise of an object (jewellery) as a motif and catalyst in multiple contexts to reveal the infidelities and tragedies of a variety of characters echoes the fall from grace of societal elites in Renoir's 'La Regle du Jeu'. One can empathise more with these humane if trivial protagonists. Ophüls has a skill in making you care for characters who may be unlikeable on paper.
Rich and sumptuous melodrama about a Countess who sells a pair of earrings to cover a debt, telling her husband a little white lie to hide her small shame, and in the process sets off a domino effect as the earrings continue to come back to haunt her, trapping her in a web of her own lies. Opulent and brilliantly scripted, the film is a profound reflection on inescapable consequences of dishonesty.