Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve star as members of a French theater company living under the German occupation during World War II in François Truffaut’s gripping character study. Equal parts romance, historical tragedy, and even comedy, this is Truffaut’s tribute to art overcoming adversity.
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The fact that it credits Truffaut as the person in charge of the mise en scene rather than the direction should tell you a lot about what kind of film this is. Despite its very un-cinematic nature I found myself engaged by the theatricality of it. The plot and characters were also well realised though I found the critic to be a bit uncertain in his morality. The film cant quite decide if it should humanize him or not
Probably Truffaut's second best film. Very rich colors and set to depict Vichy France during the war, but doesn't depict the true misery of the everyday people during the time. The acting is very good, but the emotional tone of the film sways back and forth.
My first Truffaut film and one I am eager to see again, full of theatricality (literally and figuratively), love and a seamless method about it. It just flows like silk, and engages some important ideas in a way that is neither a sentimental whitewash nor a typical dark tragedy.
A self-consciously theatrical film about WWII, which makes perfect sense because it's about characters who, in one way or another, use theater as a hideout from the war. Maybe it's because Truffaut loved Children of Paradise, maybe it's an attempt to grapple with a desire to be more diverting than political—the artistic process as its own salvation. Circa 1980, Godard was more interesting. But Truffaut was more fun.
This is a great film from Francois Truffaut that captures his love for the cinema of his childhood and at the same time being as sexy and fresh as his earlier films. Denevue and Depardieu are an absolute delight in this.