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Friday, May 27, 2016

La Gifle (1974)

A geography professor (Lino Ventura) is a strict single father to his daughter (Isabelle Adjani). But she's reached the age where she begins rebelling against his parental authority and wants to strike out on her own. But she's rather immature and has no focus. Directed by Claude Pinoteau, this is essentially a drama laced with some quirky comedic moments. To the film's credit, it doesn't tip the balance toward either the father or the daughter. Each is highly flawed, the father being rather unfeeling and short sighted while the daughter seems drifting without knowing what she really wants. Add to the mix, the ex-wife and mother (Annie Girardot) now living in Australia and one gets a bit more insight on the family dynamics. It's not an especially thought provoking film but Pinoteau (who co-wrote the screenplay) gets an authentic vibe to the father/daughter push and pull relationship. This was only Adjani's third movie but she would really come into her own the next year in Truffaut's STORY OF ADELE H. There's a very nice score by George Delerue. With Nathalie Baye, Nicole Courcel, Francis Perrin and Jacques Spiesser. 

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