The Soft Skin (1964)


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, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Nationally famous, intellectual writer Pierre Lachenay () meets lovely stewardess Nicole () 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.

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

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