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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

La Veuve Couderc (1971)

In 1934 France, a young drifter (Alain Delon) walking through the Burgundy countryside is offered work by a lonely widow (Simone Signoret). But the machinations of her venomous sister in law (Monique Chaumette) will lead to a disastrous end. Based on the novel by Georges Simenon and directed by Pierre Granier Deferre. Lovely but terribly pessimistic tale about two loners just looking for a little patch of peace in their lives and how outside forces propel them to their doom. I've never been a fan of Delon, he just seems so distanced (which makes him perfect for Melville's films) much of the time but he's excellent here and it may be my favorite performance of his, even more than his Rocco. Signoret is, of course, perfection and everything we need to know about her character is in her body. The background of Delon's character is never fully revealed so the massive overkill on the part of the police seems perplexing. The subdued underscore is by Philippe Sarde. With Ottavia Piccolo and Jean Tessier. 

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