Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: La Femme d’à côté
France, 1981. Les Films du Carrosse, TF1 Film Production. Original Scenario by Francois Truffaut, Suzanne Schiffman, Jean Aurel. Cinematography by William Lubtchansky. Produced by Francois Truffaut. Music by Georges Delerue. Production Design by Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko. Costume Design by Michele Cerf. Film Editing by Martine Barraqué.
Fanny Ardant is sinfully beautiful in this absorbing drama about love lost and later rekindled. Gerard Depardieu and his wife enjoy a quiet life in their beautiful French village until they get new neighbours, a couple of whom the wife (Ardant) was once Depardieu’s lover. Their prior relationship had been one of passionate frenzy, which they insist is long gone as they agree to now be friends and then embark on a minor sexual affair. Whatever it was that made them so volatile the first time, however, is still present, causing some dangerous circumstances that lead to near-destruction for both characters. Classy production, a rich testament to the talent of Truffaut, who here shows himself capable of making a thoroughly engrossing film without much of his trademark whimsical humour. The stunning presence of Ardant (who was at the time Mrs. Truffaut) is all the film needs, but it also gets much benefit from the terrific supporting cast.