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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Un Carnet De Bal (1937)

A wealthy recent widow (Marie Bell) finds herself lonely and cut off. When she discovers an old dance program from a ball 20 years earlier, she decides to track down her young suitors to see how life has treated them. Directed by Julien Duvivier (PEPE LE MOKO), this is a charming yet often poignant rumination on how our memories are not always reliable and how a single incident can often determine what path our lives will take. Bell's journey through her past is both comedic and tragic and encompasses suicide, murder, card tricks, avalanches and the priesthood. The film tends to dwell a bit too long on some of the episodes, notably the mayor's (Raimu) wedding. The performances are fine right down the line with Louis Jouvet as the former law student now turned mob boss standing out. The film should have ended when Bell returns to the scene of the crime, where the ball took place but we get an unnecessary coda. With Fernandel, Francoise Rosay, Harry Baur, Sylvie, Pierre Blanchar and Pierre Richard Willm.

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