Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: La Peau Douce
France/Portugal, 1964. Les Films du Carrosse, Societé d’Exploitation et de Distribution de Films, Simar Films. Screenplay by Francois Truffaut, Jean-Louis Richard. Cinematography by Raoul Coutard. Produced by Antonio da Cunha Telles. Music by Georges Delerue. Costume Design by Renee Rouzot. Film Editing by Claudine Bouche. Cannes Film Festival 1964.
Nationally famous, intellectual writer Pierre Lachenay (Jean Desailly) meets lovely stewardess Nicole (Françoise Dorléac) on a lecture trip to Portugal and is immediately smitten. Their one-night stand at his Lisbon hotel continues into a full-blown affair when they’re back in Paris, a situation made difficult by the fact that Lachenay has a wife and child at home. This bare-bones Francois Truffaut film is devoid of the passionate overtures and melancholy tones of films like Jules And Jim or The 400 Blows and as such hasn’t been loved by his most devoted fans over the years, but it does have its moments. While it lacks the kind of natural suspense that Chabrol would have brought to the same story, its mundane story is lifted out of the mire by fantastic acting and very precise direction by the filmmaker, who was obviously trying something new here.