Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
France, 1966. Les Films 13. Screenplay by Claude Lelouch, Pierre Uytterhoeven. Cinematography by Claude Lelouch. Produced by Claude Lelouch. Music by Francis Lai. Production Design by Robert Luchaire. Costume Design by Richard Marvil. Film Editing by Claude Barrois. Academy Awards 1966. Cannes Film Festival 1966. Golden Globe Awards 1966.
What on earth did our parents find entertaining about two French people making out for hours while elevator music played in the background? Overdirected within an inch of its life, Claude Lelouch’s cinematic meditation on two lonely people has substance to the extent that it occasionally switches between black-and-white and colour photography without explanation and has some characters express their feelings in song (the samba Anouk Aimee‘s husband sings for her is the most ridiculous thing in the world). Jean-Louis Trintignant races cars and Aimee works on film sets, the two of them meeting when it turns out that their children attend the same boarding school. They discuss their dead spouses, have coffee, take walks on the beach, fall in love and then do nothing. It’s as if Lelouch purposely threw a monkey wrench in the progress of the French New Wave of the 60s just for fun. Aimee is exceptionally beautiful, but in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita she showed ten times more charm, sex appeal and finesse, and all in the first fifteen minutes of the film.