La Chambre Verte (The Green Room) (1979)

La Chambre Verte (The Green Room)


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Movie Info

The Green Room (La Chambre Verte) is perhaps the least well-known of Francois Truffaut's 1970s films. Truffaut himself stars as Julien Davenne, a WW I-era journalist obsessed with death. As his friends drop like flies on the battlefield, Davenne's obsessions overwhelm him. At war's end, he devotes all his energies to building a special shrine to his fallen comrades. No matter how elaborate this shrine becomes, it will always pale in comparison to its counterpart in Davenne's own home, … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:


as Cecilia Mandel

as Bernard Humbert

as Julien Davenne

as Gérard Mazet

as Mme. Rambaud

as Apprentice Artisan

as Little Girl at Piano

as Bishop's secretary

as Geneviève Mazet

as Yvonne Mazet

as Monique Editorial Se...

as Julie Davenne

as Dr. Jardine

as Wax Dummy Maker

as Speaker at Cemetery

as Gustave the usher

as One-legged man

as Disabled man at sale...

as Nurse at cemetery

as Disabled man at ceme...

as Paul Massigny
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for La Chambre Verte (The Green Room)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

It is a most demanding, original work and one must meet it on its own terms, without expectations of casual pleasures.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Truffaut's lack of range as an actor is not helped by the script's purple prose.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Truffaut is attempting a philosophical disquisition on the presence of the lost, the ways in which the dead remain a part of our lives, but his theme can't escape the morbid eccentricity of his characters.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

More neurotic than poetic.

Full Review… | February 22, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Francois Truffaut's testimony of obsession, The Green Room, is perhaps the most unheralded film of his career, and surely one of his most personal.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Iseems his darkest work, and the odd contrast between the florid and the frigid is truly disconcerting.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007

Audience Reviews for La Chambre Verte (The Green Room)

"The Green Room" is one of director Francois Truffaut's most obscure features. Deservedly so, perhaps. Truffaut himself stars as Julien Davenne, a 1920's loner who writes obituaries for an outdated journal that only senior citizens read. He is obsessed with his lost loved ones, most notably his wife Julie (who died very young) and the fallen members of his World War I squad. Maintaining intense reverence for the dead is his top concern, to such an extreme that he's greatly offended when a widowed friend dares to remarry.

The film hammers on Julien's fixation for 90 minutes, offering little development beyond a growing relationship with a younger woman (Nathalie Baye) who shares his pervasive grief. His principles are also tested with the death of a one-time close friend whom he now detests. But by the time he decides to create a large-scale, physical shrine to the departed (the honored include many of Truffaut's own heroes), Julien seems more demented than sympathetic and you'll probably feel an emotional distance from his crusade.

Truffaut gives a solid, credible performance, though his character's reserved nature doesn't make any great demands on him. A second unusual casting is a deaf boy as Julien's son Georges -- this was the actor's only credit, so there may be an interesting tale behind the choice. (The common ground between the Julien/Georges bond and the doctor/boy relationship in 1970's "The Wild Child" should be noted.)

Given previous classics like "Two English Girls" and "The Story of Adele H.," it's no surprise that Truffaut shows an expert touch with period drama here. And the score makes lovely use of Maurice Jaubert pieces. "The Green Room"'s narrow plot just feels too repetitive and claustrophobic, however.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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