23 December 2020 | boblipton
When There's No Confidence,There's No Magic, Only Realism
Brigitte Bardot et amie invade a jeweler's shop and rob him. While they are doing so, a woman enters and complicates matters, so they knock her out. She may die. The friend is picked up, and Bardot heads to the well known defense lawyer, Jean Gabin. She has no money, so she raises her skirts. Gabin says nothing, gets her off, and then they begin an affair. Gabin is married to Edwige Feuillère. Bardot sleeps around, but says she loves Gabin, even as she has regular horizontal sessions with communist medical student Claude Magnier.
It's a last flare of Pepe Le Moko for Gabin. He's no longer the young criminal. He's older. He's solid. He's married, and Bardot is his last chance for.... if not love, then sexual obsession. Yet director Claude Autant-Lara is no poetic realist. The sexuality of his characters is not cloaked in symbols. It's Bardot walking around naked for a few seconds, it's Bardot and Magnier wearing the same sweater. to show they are linked.... and they must comment on it. There's no need for the audience to dig, it's all laid out for them, and as a result, it's less invlving. The performances are great, but without the confidence of the director, there is no magic.