Les Dimanches De Ville D'Avray (aka Sundays And Cybele) (1962)
An ex-pilot (Hardy Kruger) suffers from what we call today post traumatic stress disorder after his plane crashes in Vietnam killing a little girl. Emotionally disturbed, he's now child like and lives with his girlfriend (Nicole Courcel) in what appears to be a platonic relationship though she would like to take it to the next level. He begins to come alive however when he meets an orphan (Patricia Gozzi) and spends his Sundays with her in their own special little world. Winner of the 1962 best foreign language film Oscar, director Serge Bourguignon does wonderfully balancing a very tricky plotline. Though the relationship between the disturbed vet and the orphan girl is a pure one, Gozzi comes across as more child/woman (not unlike Elizabeth Taylor in NATIONAL VELVET) than child which give some of the dialog and situations a reading not intended. It's clear from the beginning that this is a film that's not going to end well which makes the journey a nervous one but at least when the end comes, we've been more than prepared. Kruger is excellent in a career best performance. Impossibly tragic yet with a delicate beauty which permeates almost every frame. The superb B&W cinematography is by Henri Decae and the minimalist score by Maurice Jarre. With Daniel Ivernel.