14 March 2006 | pegd-1
A Sad Affair
With cool detachment and a subtle touch of horror, Claude Chabrol dissects the story of a woman who was guillotined during the Nazi occupation of France. One of his strengths as a director is that he allows the movie goer to form his/her own thoughts and opinions about the issues at hand. He is not a proselytizer.
The film covers a lot of ground: illegal abortion, collaborating with the enemy, parenting, marital communication, greed and a slew of other human weaknesses. All of this against the backdrop of an occupied France, a country who witnessed the horrors of WWI and never fully recovered, and whose WWII soul (what is left of it) has been torn apart.
Isabelle Huppert does a fine job interpreting Marie LaTour, the woman in question. Marie is not the most sympathetic of characters. In fact, most of the major characters are not "sympathique".(My favorite character is the prostitute Lulu, acted by Marie Trintignant.)
All in all a well directed, well structured film about a tragic period in the lives of the French people. But you be the judge.
Trivia: "Vera Drake" and "L'Affaire de Femmes" both begin in apartments which have the the same god awful green walls.