Max Ophüls directs Madeleine Renaud, Jean Gabin and Claude Dauphin in this French anthology movie based on the short stories of Guy de Maupassant’s set around the Fin de Siècle.
A stranger in an uncanny mask dances the night away in a hectic club. The popular brothel closes up for a day to visit a countryside Holy Communion of a girl. A painter and his model’s marriage turns sour. Two vignettes bookend the longer central tale. Bawdy yet classy, frank and unsentimental. There’s real sparkling visual verve here as Ophüls’ roving camera pans through elaborate sets overspilling with characters and mini subplots. It is a frothing construction, featuring a busy cast of French stars. A winner that clearly influenced both Kubrick and Wes Anderson. I loved the first two mini-movies.
Perfect Double Bill: The French Dispatch (2021)
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