Eric Rohmer is perhaps the least easily accessible of all French New Wave filmmakers. His films are not as stylistically inventive as those of the other filmmakers—in fact, they’re rather staid by comparison—and he’s far less playful. His films are more concerned with ideas and how those ideas attain an internal life of their own. How much he succeeded in creating this internal life is subjective at best. Some find his works very successful, and his probings into ideas, philosophies and morals profound. Others merely find his work rather dull. I’m somewhere in between, but I don’t find this film about a devout Catholic (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and his pursuit of a girl (Marie-Christine Barrault) in the least dull. The film’s centerpiece—his sexless night with Maud (Françoise Fabian)—may go on a little long, but not distressingly so. However, it’s best to know that this is a film about ideas and conversation more than anything else. In other words, it’s not action-packed. In some ways, it might remind you of the recent mumblecore movement in indie film, but with more interesting characters and better photography.
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