Domicile Conjugal (Bed & Board) (1970)
In the fourth installment of François Truffaut's Antoine Doniel series, this romantic comedy shows how Antoine (Jean-Pierre Léaud) went from being a mischievous boy to an adorably charming young man of 26. Domicile Conjugal begins with Antoine settling down with Christine (Claude Jade), his girlfriend from the previous film, Baisers volés. He finds himself accepted and loved by his wife and her family, so the young couple move in to an apartment building together. They live in a lively neighborhood of interesting characters, such as the old man who never leaves and the opera singer who fights with his wife. Antoine finds work as a florist painting roses, while Christine makes a living by teaching violin lessons. After he gets involved in an accidental fire at the florist's, he gets a new job with an American corporation where he steers radio-controlled boats around a pond all day. A big change occurs when Christine becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby boy, while Antoine grows increasingly distant. Eventually, he becomes infatuated with a Japanese girl, Kyoko (Hiroko Berghauer), resulting in some shifts in lifestyle. The fifth and final Antoine Doniel film L'Amour en fuite was released in 1979, picking up the story with Antoine after he reaches his thirties. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Domicile Conjugal (Bed & Board)
It is laced with little incidents, quirky characters, incisive insights and quintessentially French national traits of complacency that avoid chauvinism in Truffaut's gentle but never sentimental or indulgent treatment.
For those who found Truffaut's later work becoming flaccid, this fourth instalment in the continuing saga of Antoine Doinel provides plenty of critical ammunition.
Bed and Board is one of the most decent and loving films I can remember.
I can't help believing that François Truffaut's latest Antoine Doinel comedy, Bed and Board, will turn out to be one of the loveliest, most intelligent movies we'll see in all of 1971.
The sadness of the film's decaying domesticity keeps undermining it, giving it the air of a melancholy B-side to what's come before.
The film is entertaining and discreetly sentimental, though perhaps a little too flattering to the fantasies of the young adult audience.
There simply isn't enough story, and most of the characters remain inert.
Bed and Board is a charming, pleasant and touching film, and the best sequel of the series.
It's a minor Truffaut domestic romantic comedy, the least satisfactory of the series, although it's not without the usual charm and amusing moments.
The continuing enchanting adventures of Antoine Doinel; not quite a Truffaut classic, but close.
There is a sense of community in this film that was somewhat lacking in the previous Doinel films, as Truffaut emphasizes reoccurring characters and their relations to each other in the small neighborhood where Antoine and Christine live.
Truffaut's technical ability is not in doubt, and Léaud can't be faulted in his interpretation of the role, but there's a feeling of 'why bother?' scuttering around in the undergrowth.
Audience Reviews for Domicile Conjugal (Bed & Board)
Francois Truffaut is the family member, maybe an uncle or a distant cousin, who always tells good stories. He may narrate the simplest episodes with a tenderness, an openness of spirit, that engages. He is the most creative director whose work I have ever seen. He infuses all of his films with sincerity and beauty that can only really be achieved through a deep, deep admiration for the art of cinema and for the tiniest details of human life. Bed and Board may not be the world's most interesting movie on paper, but when you're watching it, it is.
Antoine Doinel is a newlywed in Bed and Board. His wife is the wonderful Claude Jade, so cute as Christine. Their daily life is quaint, relaxed, very intimate. They are going to have a baby. Antoine happens to meet a Japanese girl whose allure he can't resist, and begins an affair with her.
Ever the free spirit, Antoine has a hard time conforming with a fixed situation, a fixed location, a fixed girlfriend. He loves his wife, but he can't bring himself to resist external temptations. Christine is very polite, proper, bourgeoise, and we all know Antoine's upbringing was not exactly the same... so at times he feels uncomfortable in this new lifestyle, he needs a break. Bed and Board tells a sweet story about sacrificing the constant search for excitement and the ideallistic notions we have about what we want our lives to be, and the process of giving value to what we do have. Antoine doesn't have to settle down if he doesn't want to, he just has to go through all these things, ups and downs, to discover by himself that he DOES want to. Happens to everyone. Happens in life. Happened to Truffaut, and happens here. Things fall in and out of place, situations are never clear, everything is relative to everyone. Soon Antoine will discover where his loyalty lies.
Maybe this is all unexciting on paper. And yet it is so enrapturing when watched. Bed and Board is funny and witty as much as it is romantic. Truffaut can elevate anyone's emotional intelligence with his craft. Jean Pierre Leaud never disappoints, especially not when playing Antoine Doinel, possibly his most important role ever. I can't wait to see Baisers Voles now.
Started off a bit slow but aphorisms relevant to my life really won me over. Most romantic line: "You were my sister, my daughter, my mother."More
I also recently saw "Stolen Kisses" (the preceding entry in Truffaut's Antoine Doinel series), and "Bed & Board" does not match that film's charms.
Like "Stolen Kisses," "Bed & Board" doesn't have much plot in the traditional sense, and instead just comes off like a quick eavesdrop into what's new with Antoine. Now he's married to Christine (Claude Jude, the same gamine cutie from "Stolen Kisses"), and the couple outputs a son in a highly casual, undramatic way. However, tensions arise when Antoine has a fling with a kimono'ed Japanese woman who barely speaks English. The story doesn't go much further than this, though it dabbles with subplots for some more minor characters, such as a surly neighbor, another sexually aggressive one and a pitiful friend who continually borrows money. But intentionally, none of these fragments pay off in a satisfying way.
Trainspotters might watch for a brief "special effect" involving a blossoming flower which seems notably outside Truffaut's usual directing style.
Domicile Conjugal (Bed & Board) Quotes
- Antoine Doinel:
- You are my sister, my daughter, my mother...
- I'd have liked to be your wife, too.
- Antoine Doinel:
- l enjoy parents...when they're not my own!
- What's that?
- Antoine Doinel:
- A library staircase. l've always wanted one.
- We don't have a library!
- Antoine Doinel:
- We have to begin somewhere.
- Antoine Doinel:
- Alphonse will be a great writer. You know what l'm going to do? Educate him myself, at home. Alphonse will only learn important things.
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