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Friday, October 29, 2010

Goodbye Again (1961)

Based on the novel AIMEZ VOUS BRAHMS? by Francoise Sagan (BONJOUR TRISTESSE), Anatole Litvak directs this story of a May-December romance set in Paris. A 40ish interior decorator (Ingrid Bergman) has been in a five year relationship with a businessman (Yves Montand) who not only doesn't want to commit but continues to have girls on the side. When she meets the young son (Anthony Perkins) of a client, he pursues her romantically until she succumbs. Not well received, at least in America, when it was first released, it plays very well today. Litvak directed Bergman to a best actress Oscar win with ANASTASIA and she does very well under his direction here as the conflicted Paula, unfulfilled in her relationship with the roving Montand yet unable to get what she needs from the boyish, irresponsible Perkins. Perkins (who won the Cannes film festival best actor award for his performance here) is a problem. He overdoes the immaturity of the character, so much so that it's hard to believe Bergman would capitulate to such a childish youth. The film doesn't romanticize the age difference and the film's cynically downbeat ending leaves its mark. With Diahann Carroll, Jessie Royce Landis, Jocelyn Lane, Lee Patrick and Michele Mercier.

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