Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Le Mepris
France/Italy, 1963. Rome Paris Films, Les Films Concordia, Compagnia Cinematografica Champion. Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, based on the novel Il Disprezzo by Alberto Moravia. Cinematography by Raoul Coutard. Produced by Georges de Beauregard, Carlo Ponti. Music by Georges Delerue, Piero Piccioni. Costume Design by Tanine Autre. Film Editing by Agnes Guillemot. The Criterion Collection.
A struggling writer (Michel Piccoli) is hired by a gung-ho American producer (Jack Palance) to pen an epic film production of The Odyssey in this dowdy tale by Jean-Luc Godard. While struggling to please his producer, Piccoli’s home life with vixen wife Brigitte Bardot (whose many nude scenes must have made this the must-see whack-off film of 1963) begins to disintegrate as she begins receiving attention from Palance and is devastated that her husband doesn’t seem to care. Godard’s framing and gorgeous sense of colour make it dazzling for the eye, and thanks to its being adapted from a novel (very rare for Godard) he gives it a richer plot than many of his more experimental films. It won’t ring off the hook for everyone, as some audience members are bound to find it ponderous and slim, while others will be immune to its emotional resonance.