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Friday, April 30, 2010

The Lovers (aka Les Amants) (1958)

Louis Malle’s once controversial (in the U.S., its obscenity case went all the way to the Supreme Court) still retains its ability to hold one’s attention although far from Malle’s best work. Living in the provinces, an upper class bourgeois wife (Jeanne Moreau) dissatisfied in her marriage keeps a polo playing lover (Jose Luis De Villalonga, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S) in Paris. A house party involving her lover, her husband (Alain Cuny), her best friend (Judith Magre) and a stranger (Jean Marc Bory) brings a shocking revelation to her. At its best, there is the exquisite Jeanne Moreau, one of cinema’s greatest actress at its center. At its worst, it resembles those florid romance novels with purple prose done over with an artistic sheen, Moreau in a diaphanous negligee floats thru the woods with her lover while Brahms plays oh so tastefully on the soundtrack.

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