25 December 2010 | boblipton
A Last Chance of Our Youths
Duvivier's last silent film is an unusual one for him: it's not about a woman who brings a man or child to his doom, but of a woman whose insistence on her own youth and freedom destroys herself: she leaves her children and husband for what she imagines is lasting love with the ever-youthful Francis Lederer, only to discover, too late, that her time is past.
Duvivier directs with a sympathy for Maria Jacobini's character, Baroness Irene de Rysbergue, unusual for him, and accentuates her self-indulgence with a loving close-ups of the actresses' face, and luxurious moving shots that would soon grow scarce in the cinema. Mademoiselle Jacobini is excellent in the role, and Lederer, as her lover, is very good. But the time for silent movies was passing and all too soon, the time for this sort of work would be gone. Duvivier's next movie would be "David Golder" and even though he would survive and even produce more great works, they would never again show this sort of camera movement.