A Man And A Woman

"Good"

A Man And A Woman Review


French writer/director Claude Lelouch remains a prolific artist (he even made a 9/11 movie), but it's one of his first films, made almost 40 years ago, for which he remains best known.

A Man and a Woman was France's definitive love story for a decade, the Love Story of its generation and a thoroughly French example of its take on romance. Laconic, wandering, and bordering on hopeless, it's easy to see why the film has more fans among the heartbroken than the lovey-dovey.

Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant play the titular characters, both young widows with complicated lives: He's a race car driver, she's got kids. Okay, they're complicated for French lives, anyway.

What follows their chance meeting is a series of abortive dates, daydreams, and endless car races. Lelouch jumps between color and black & white willy-nilly. He flashes back, even to a musical number. In the end, he won a Best Foreign Film Oscar.

From today's perspective, the film has a When Harry Met Sally... structure but lacks much charm. Aimée and Trintignant are mopey (they're widowed, so that's forgiveable, I guess) and can't seem to commit, and their dalliance lacks much in the way of thrills or even relatability. Not being a widow or a Frenchman, I suspect there's something lost in translation -- but that's just as it relates to me. The world as a whole embraced A Man and a Woman, and Lelouch even brought his stars back for a sequel: A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later. Now on DVD, Lelouch goes back again in a 37 Years Later documentary plus various trailers.

In the end, it's an interesting piece of film history. I fear it's lost much of its luster over the years, though the terminally romantic (emphasis on terminal) will find it endlessly endearing.

Aka Un homme et un femme.



A Man And A Woman

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 12th July 1966

Distributed by: Warner Home Video

Production compaines: Les Films 13

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Jean-Louis Duroc, as Anne Gauthier, Pierre Barouh as Pierre Gauthier, Valérie Lagrange as Valérie Duroc, as la directrice de la pension, Antoine Sire as Antoine Duroc, Souad Amidou as Françoise Gauthier, Henri Chemin as l'autre pilote, Yane Barry as la maîtresse de Jean-Louis, Gérard Sire as le speaker radio, Gérard Larrousse as un pilote de rallye, Clive Roberts as un pilote de rallye, Paul Le Person as le pompiste

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