Antoine Doinel strikes again! In the final chapter of François Truffaut’s saga, we find Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), now in his thirties, convivially concluding his marriage, enjoying moderate success as a novelist, and clinging to his romantic fantasies.
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It's not just the Antoine Doinel clip show! He's old in this picture and looking back at all his tragic romances only accentuate the moments and make them more tragic since they'll never happen again. It's the simiplicity of the story that makes nostalgia and love the main character of the film (along with Doinel of course) and I absolutely loved it! I haven't been this moved by a Doinel film since The 400 Blows!
I'm going to be generous here and give this 3 stars. Largely made up of clips from the previous 4 Antoine Doinel pictures; the newly shot scenes are weak. Fortunately for Leaud's fans, he can still be seen in some other good films: The Pornographer, Irma Vep, and I Hired a Contract Killer, among the more recent ones, as well as his earlier work with Godard, Rivette, etc..
Yes, it's bad enough when a sitcom does a clip show, let alone Truffaut, and their presence is intrusive as often as wistful. But it's not inapt: by the end, it's easier to imagine that when a storyteller as shamelessly personal as Truffaut has been at it so long, reflecting on their life and their movies are the same. A beguiling meta knot. I wonder if its flaws are wishful thinking—and if that makes it better.
Admittedly, I would have prefer less footage from earlier films. Then again, unlike the viewers in 79, I had the opportunity to marathon this whole odyssey. There's also something to be said for a series actually ending (something we'll likely never see these days). The sense of reward that I got watching everything come together was very endearing. In a weird way, it felt like an adaptation of LA SALADE DE L'AMOUR.
Not really much of a plot in the final film in this enjoyable series,but flashbacks do sustain interest. Sad that there was not to be a 6th film,because we love Antoine for his boyish charm and belief in love.