(out of 5)
Godard once again combines his cinematic exuberance with his youthful political rebellion for a visually striking, if dry, experiment in film. Anna Karina is shot-for-shot perfection as a colourful private eye searching the streets of “Atlantic-Cité” for her ex-boyfriend. Of course, Atlantic City is purely Parisian when seen through Godard’s eye, and the plotting is expressed in ways that would make even the most ardent fan of Dashiell Hammett’s convoluted tales want to tear their hair out. Give in to the madness, however, or just enjoy the retro glamour of it all, and you’ll be pleased even if you space out from time to time. It’s gorgeous to look at, featuring lots of humour and a wonderful performance by Jean-Pierre Léaud doing slapstick, plus there’s a criminally young Marianne Faithfull who sings “As Tears Go By” in a café.
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, based on the novel The Jugger by Donald E. Westlake
Cinematography by Raoul Coutard