11 April 2009 | Myshkin_Karamazov
The Talented Monsieur Michel
What Michel Bouquet does in his role as the husband to Stephane Audran's title character can only be described as an acting tour-De-force. MAGNIFICENT!
Audran is not bad herself, but a notch less than stellar. Or maybe her performance just pales in comparison to her co-star. As does pretty much everything else in the film. From a certain point onwards, it is Bouquet who becomes the co-auteur, as for as the viewer is concerned.
The film has a very remarkable score, which Chabrol uses effectively as if both checking, and challenging the Hitchcockian legacy of pronounced scores in the thriller realm.
With unmistakable, (still his kind of) nouvelle-vague elements, the film admirably reflects director's familiarity with the classic genre and its (then) modern subversion.
With unmistakable, (still his kind of) nouvelle-vague elements, the film admirably reflects the director's familiarity with the classic genre and its (then) modern subversion. The economy and brilliance of shots is such that viewer cannot take eyes off screen, not for one sec. The last shot alone informs a good lot more than an average novella. And demands a separate essay I am not gonna write. However, it becomes quite clear early on that this auteur, unlike some others, is not at all that keen on subversion for the very sake of it.
La Femme Infidele has all the bearings of a rebellion forgone, if you please. It definitely looks like the work of an auteur, but not just a rebel kind, but a mature mind, someone well on his way to become a real master of the medium: already he affords to be audacious, or flexible, every which way to fulfill demands posed by his art. This audacious flexibility in turn provides the auteur opportunity to comment, in his fashion, if not alter the rules of the genre that he is seen, here as well, rebelling against and compromising with.