Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. France, 1980. Les Films du Carrosse, Sédif Productions, TF1 Films Production, Societe Francaise de Production. Scenario by Francois Truffaut, Suzanne Schiffman, Dialogue by Francois Truffaut, Suzanne Schiffman, Jean-Claude Grumberg. Cinematography by Nestor Almendros. Produced by Francois Truffaut. Music by Georges Delerue. Production Design by Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko. Costume Design by Lisele Roos. Film Editing by Martine Barraqué. Podcast: My Criterions. Academy Awards 1980. Golden Globe Awards 1980.
One of the last great films to come from a giant of European cinema, Francois Truffaut. Catherine Deneuve is excellent as a famous actress working in a theatre in Nazi-occupied Paris; with her Jewish husband gone, she is left to direct all the productions that the resident theatre company puts on, though only she knows that her husband is actually living in the basement of the building. While he secretly directs all the productions through her notes, the above-boards group have various clashes of personality that threaten their personal working relationships as well as their lives. Gerard Depardieu co-stars as a new addition to the troupe whose moony feelings for the lovely ladies gets in the way of his professionalism. Beautifully photographed and dripping with both poetic sorrow and vague nostalgia, this lovely film is yet another highlight in the oeuvre of one of the most gifted filmmakers of all time.