Sunday, November 06, 2022

A Married Woman


Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Une femme mariee` (A Married Woman) is the story of a woman who is in love with two men as she deals with not just her own affair with another man but also being married to a man she’s still in love with. The film is an exploration of adultery as well as a woman tempted by her own passion. Starring Macha Meril, Bernard Noel, and Philippe Leroy. Une femme mariee` is a ravishing and intoxicating film from Jean-Luc Godard.

The film explores a woman who is married to a pilot with a young son from his previous marriage while is having an affair with another man as she is coping with the fact that she’s in love with two men. It is a film with a simple premise as it is more of a study of a woman’s passion and the complications she has created for herself as she is in love with two different men. Jean-Luc Godard’s screenplay is unconventional in its narrative approach as it sort of plays in a fragment yet straightforward approach as it opens and ends with its protagonist Charlotte (Macha Meril) sleeping with her lover Robert (Bernard Noel) as they just chat briefly while she claims that she is getting a divorce from her husband Pierre (Philippe Leroy) who is away in Berlin working as a pilot for private planes. Upon Pierre’s return, Charlotte spends time with him as they play around as it complicate matters for her pondering who should she be with as she also works as a model where her own thoughts on her love life is heightened by some revelations that would occur in its third act.

Godard’s direction is stylish in not just the way he opens and ends the film in a similar manner but also in the approach in how he plays into a woman’s desire and the need to choose a lover when it is really not that simple. While there are some wide shots in a lot of the locations set in Paris, much of Godard’s direction is intimate in its approach to framing such as close-ups and medium shots including these shots of Charlotte and Robert’s body parts being shown in intimate close-ups as well as some unique close-ups of Charlotte and Pierre as it adds to this fragmented presentation on Charlotte’s idea of love. Even as there are certain visual approach such as a shot of Charlotte at a pool doing model work as it’s presented in a negative black-and-white presentation while there are also a stylish slanted shot as it play into the world that Charlotte is in along with a play-fighting scene that is set in one entire take as the camera moves from room to room. The film’s third act as it play into a major life revelation for Charlotte as it play into what she wants and who she wants as its ending is ambiguous but also fitting for a woman who is caught in the middle of her own desires. Overall, Godard crafts a rapturous and evocative film about a married woman caught in a love triangle with her husband and her lover.

Cinematographer Raoul Coutard does brilliant work with the film’s black-and-white cinematography as it is largely straightforward in its presentation with the exception of one sequence that play into its air of style. Editors Andree Choty, Francoise Collin, Agnes Guillemot, and Gerard Pollicand do excellent work with the editing with its stylish usage of jump-cuts as well as creating montages to play into Charlotte’s own thoughts of love. Production designer Henri Nogaret does fantastic work with the look of the apartment that Charlotte lives in with her family as well as the hotel that she and Robert would meet. The sound work of Antoine Bonafanti, Rene Levert, and Jacques Maumont is superb for its natural approach to sound as well as helping to set the mood with some of the voice overs that Charlotte would do for one sequence while its music soundtrack largely consists of music by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

The film’s wonderful cast feature notable small roles and appearances from Margaret Le-Van and Veronique Duval as a couple of women Charlotte eavesdrop on during a conversation about sex at the pool area, Rita Maiden as a maid who talks about her own sex life with her husband to Charlotte, Christophe Boursellier as Pierre’s son Nicolas, and Roger Leenhardt as a filmmaker friend of Pierre who would have dinner with Pierre and Charlotte as they discuss morality and other things during their dinner. Philippe Leroy is excellent as Charlotte’s husband Pierre as a pilot who has his own private plane company as he is someone that is often away but always devotes his attention to her and his son whenever he’s at home.

Bernard Noel is brilliant as Charlotte’s lover Robert who works as an actor that has unique views on life and love while is often wondering when Charlotte is going to get her divorce. Finally, there’s Macha Meril in a tremendous performance as Charlotte as a married woman who is dealing with being in love with two men as she is surrounded by advertisements to please men but also questioning herself as it is this enchanting performance of a woman struggling with who she is and what she wants.

Une femme mariee` is a phenomenal film from Jean-Luc Godard that features a great leading performance from Macha Meril. Along with its stylish visuals, somber music soundtrack of music from Ludwig Van Beethoven, and its study of adultery and desires. It is a film that isn’t just one of Godard’s more accessible films but also this compelling character study of a woman caught up in being in love with two men and trying to find a happy medium. In the end, Une femme mariee` is a sensational film from Jean-Luc Godard.

Jean-Luc Godard Films: All the Boys Are Called Patrick - Charlotte et Son Jules - A Bout de Souffle - The Little Soldier - A Woman is a Woman - Vivre Sa Vie - Les Carabiniers - Contempt- Bande a Part - Alphaville - Pierrot Le Fou - Masculin Feminin - Made in U.S.A. - Two or Three Things I Know About Her - La ChinoiseWeekend (1967 film) - Sympathy for the Devil (One Plus One) - (Joy of Learning) - (British Sounds) - Tout va Bien - (Letter to Jane) - (One A.M.) - (Number Two) - (Here and Elsewhere) - (Every Man for Himself) - (Passion) - (First Name: Carmen) - Hail, Mary - (Soft and Hard) - (Detective) - (King Lear (1987 film)) - (Keep Your Right Up) - (Nouvelle Vague) - (Allemagne 90 neuf zero) - (JLG/JLG - Self-Portrait in December) - For Ever Mozart - (Historie(s) de Cinema) - (In Praise of Love) - (Notre musique) - (Film Socialisme) - (Adieu au Language) – (The Image Book)

© thevoid99 2022


Brittani Burnham said...

I'm so embarrassingly behind on Godard films. This one sounds good!

thevoid99 said...

@Brittani-This was on MUBI as this was one of the last of his New Wave period that I wanted to watch and it became available last week. Now I have one more feature film from that period to watch while I have a film from his political period to watch next.