Ma Nuit chez Maud (My Night at Maud's ) (My Night with Maud) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ma Nuit chez Maud (My Night at Maud's ) (My Night with Maud) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 2, 2009
There are nights and conversations we remember more than whole years. To Jean-Louis, finding a woman like Maud, by pure chance, was a miracle. The miracle of coming clean, stripping his soul, putting aside morals that were detouring him from finding not a perfect match to marry, but another real, flawed human being to start a romance for as long as it takes. The night he spend with Maud, made him gain enough courage to approach the girl he desired. Maybe he could have had something with Maud, if circumstances would allowed him, because passion, admiration and understanding, they had already found all that in each other.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
October 5, 2008
for two hours of philosophical discussions between people trying not to admit they want to have sex with each other this was pretty damn good
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ January 22, 2010
"Pascal's Wager" suggests that if one must bet on the existence of God, it's better to err on the side that He does exist rather than He doesn't. If God exists and you don't believe in Him, you gain nothing and lose everything. If God doesn't exist and you believe in Him, you gain nothing and lose nothing. But, if God does exist, you gain everything and lose nothing. Pascal believed in hedging your bets towards the eternal afterlife. Pascal and christianity (catholicism in particular) are discussed heavily in "Ma nuit chez Maud" (My Night with Maud), but the application of Pascal's Wager in one's personal life is what the film's true purpose is. My Night at Maud's is one of director Eric Rohmer's "six moral tales" film series and centers around a 30-something man named Jean-Louis. Jean-Louis seems to live an unfulfilling life, sitting around his apartment, reading math books and attending church. At sunday mass, he sits uninspired, until a beautiful blonde sitting in the pew across from him catches his eye. She fails to notice him though, and after church service, he attempts to follow her home. He makes a pledge to himself that he will someday marry that girl. Meanwhile, he comes across Vidal, an old friend who he hasn't seen in 14 years (they meet in a restaurant that neither one frequents, and in an acute observation, the old friend tells him that since their daily paths never cross, they could only meet when diverging from them), and the two immediately strike up a conversation about Pascal. The atheist/communist Vidal seems fascinated by Jean-Louis' devote christianity, and (seemingly) unrelatedly invites him up to his friend Maud's house for a social visit. Maud is a divorced single mother who's both intellectual and openly honest. She (along with Vidal) bluntly direct the evening's conversation towards sex and it's compatibility with Jean-Louis' faith. Jean-Louis hedges his bets in love, just as he does with his faith. Rather than risk missing out on eternal reward, he lives a bland life, never engaging in anything extraneous, and rather than risk his dream of a perfect marriage, he turns his back on women who don't meet his strict guidelines. He is deeply fascinated by Maud, by her bluntness, her openness, her zest for life. But in the end, she's just a passing flirtation in his eyes, she's not catholic, she's divorced. He instead pursues the beautiful blonde from the church, the moral absolute. To him, the passion is mechanical, he woos her with the exact same words he uses on Maud the day before. The blonde reciprocates with equally mechanical romantic words. The tragedy by the end of the story is that, too late, Jean-Louis learns that all his vaunted standards don't matter very much, and love just can't be plotted out like a book. In the end he turns down the great adventure of love for the sure thing, and while he receives his great reward, it comes at the expense of knowledge in what he's lost out on.
Super Reviewer
May 25, 2008
My first Eric Rohmer film. The Cinematheque at the Cleveland Institute of Art showed a film print of this from Europe. The movie takes its time showing the simple life led by Jean-Louis (Trintignant) in 60's France. He browses for books at a bookshop. He drives around the narrow streets in his compact car. He attends mass where he first sees Francoise (Barrault). He tries to invent ways to casually run into her. Is he just looking for a one night stand, or from this "love-at-first-sight" thing do we believe that he really wants a more long term relationship? His motivations early on are mysterious. Jean-Louis is interrupted from his norm by a chance meeting with an old college buddy, Vidal (Vitez). Vidal knows this recently divorced woman, Maud (Fabian), who he is having dinner with that evening (just as friends) and he invites Jean-Louis along. Maud is a modern woman. She is divorced at a time when that was still not common. She has a daughter, does not consider herself religious and flirts shamelessly with Jean-Louis. The three adults talk on and on about philosophy, religion and relationships. It goes on a bit too long, but for the most part it kept me interested. Jean-Louis admits only a little personal information. Like Maud he doesn't really believe in all the dogmas of the church, but he cannot bring himself to give up his Catholicism all together. He also reveals that he prefers blondes (Francoise) to brunettes (Maud) and though he is talked into staying the night he tries to remain a gentleman. It is difficult for him. He sees both Francoise and Maud again. He gets more serious with one and we are treated to a surprise coincidence between the women at the end. The performances are natural in many cases as if the audience is a fly on the wall.
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2008
I get a little dizzy counting the love triangles in this one.
August 15, 2010
Think twice before popping this can of tuna. In "Night Moves" (1975) Gene Hackman says "Rohmer's films are like watching paint dry." You may well agree.

Here's the 100% spoiler lowdown:

Trintignant goes to Mass. Trintignant runs into long-lost friend. Trintignant takes friend to Christmas Eve Mass. Trintignant and friend dine in apartment of gorgeous brunette divorcee Maud (Fabian), who happens to be the friend's major booty call. Dinner talk is a lengthy, snobby, impenetrable, utterly pretentious French bourgeois discussion about religious philosophy, dwelling on Pascal. (Brush-up in advance.) Trintignant drolls on about his own moral, religious nature, explaining it still allows him to skirt-chase.

Now, at minute 44, things barely get interesting. Maud slips into a t-shirt (cheeks-out), climbs into her bed that conveniently faces right next to her living-room chairs, starts rolling around in her sheets, then drops words like "exhibitionism" and "seduction" into conversation. Friend, recognizing he's being dealt-out of the bedding, skips. While Maud's sprawled across the bed leering ''open for business," Trintignant monologues yet ANOTHER 20 minutes about his beliefs regarding religion and true love. Maud begs him throughout, in various provocative ways, to just STFU and take her.

He never does man-up to the noble cause. Accordingly, she calls him "child" and "idiot" for it right into his face. These are the most honest lines of dialogue in the film.

Next morning, he makes a wishy-washy move on Maud, but Maud, far too pro, doesn't do wishy-washies.

Now it's minute 75.

Trintignant and Maud talk it up all that day. Trintignant picks up a co-ed blonde parishioner on the street. They marry. Five years later, Trintignant discovers his blonde wife was once Maud's lover, whom Maud dumped cold.

Fin.

The director labeled this film a "moral tale." I guess the moral is "Don't run with women outside of church because they're too fast for you."

Excellent B&W Criterion restoration. Droll extras include even more pretentious French talking heads, talking about--guess what--Pascal.

RECOMMENDATION: Yuck.
December 18, 2015
I like a philosophical element in art films, just not all the rather meaningless French chit-chat here. Not exactly on the level of My Dinner With Andre.
½ October 5, 2015
My Night at Maud's is a great film for those who like subtle romance
where what is not said counts more than what is said. That said, this
film is an easy one to mis-watch. There is a lot of talk about
intellectual and theological topics, and it can seem as if the film is
about that. Not so, most of the film you can get from how the
characters carry themselves and how they interact; their words are
secondary. Besides that, the talk is meant to be partly funny and
partly serious; some of the intellectual talk is relevant to the theme,
and some of it is intentionally pretentious. Indeed, the main themes of
the film are pretension and predestination. (Which is interesting since
even though the film is set back in the 1960s, French "designed"
milieu feels as if it were modern and fresh and free.) Overall, the
final product has a very nice, witty, and young feel to it. I rate this
one up on account of some good characterizations, and the fact that the
actress playing Maud is damn sexy with French charm -- well, that
factors right in.
½ August 27, 2015
Normalmente no me interesa este tipo de cine, pero esta película es realmente interesante.
February 6, 2014
Um drama sofisticado que distigue amizade e sexo a fé o destino e o acaso, tudo bem catalizado com as delícias do convívio.
February 17, 2013
Marvellous cinema in which the art of conversation takes centre-stage.
½ January 23, 2013
Strange, compelling drama of which a man (Jean-Louis Tritigant), who has lost faith in being a relationship with woman, runs into an old friend (Antoine Vitez). He then has dinner with him and a recently divorced Maud (Francoise Fabian). They engage in a complex conversation on life and the man spends the night Mauds and the relationship then deepens into some more (but not a quite romance though to restore his confidence in woman). Generally talky drama has some sort of memorable magic attached to it that has left me thinking of the situation afterwards for quite a while, probably because everything seems rather natural. Well-acted and very well filmed. The nicest scenes are the characters talking during dinner or right before bed time.
December 17, 2012
A little overly loquacious and self indulgent, Rohmer's challenging take on love, sex an religion is nevertheless sophisticated and classy as well as very provocative.
½ November 12, 2012
Another great film by Rohmer. This guy is shaping up to be one of my very favorite filmmakers. I'm very much enjoying blowing through his filmography.
½ November 1, 2012
Intriguing in its philosophy and sexuality, My Night with Maud is another one of Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales.
½ January 5, 2012
My first Rohmer. This is a scintillating treatise on religion, sex, chance, and fate that is, admittedly, mostly talk. The unnamed central character (Trintignant) spends an absorbing night with a totally disarming woman (Fabian) who might be his perfect match, alleviating his normal reserve, but she is an atheist and he wants to be a practicing Catholic (though his actions do not always conform with the faith's principles). What is most interesting here is trying to figure out how the various philosophical points mesh or do not mesh with the character's decisions -- he does seem more willing to force circumstances to conform to his will than to rely on chance and grace (as he claims). The luminescent cinematography aids and abets Rohmer's focus on naturalistic and conversational detail.
December 26, 2011
A beautiful exercise in dialogue; the conversations play out like music.

Characteristic of Rohmer, this film is about tension--sexual, moral, or even both--and that tension is established well, not only between the film's characters, but also tension against your own moral codes. This film aims to make you think, and that it achieves.
½ December 21, 2011
Excellent character study with a strong screenplay
July 4, 2010
Frequently considered Eric Rohmer masterpiece, My Night at Maud's is the third of six Moral Tales also including Chloe In The Afternoon, Claire Knee's and La Collectionneuse. The plot is very simple, catholic man meets atheist woman and they start talking about religion and moral values. What could be a very boring and pointless discussion about god's existance, became a complex and intriguing movie that never tends to the simplism of defending one ideal (religion oe atheism). The movie charms lies on the dialogs provocative but elegant and smart.

Altough the movie is very good, it lacks what is necessary to become a masterpiece, with a better cinematography or better performances.

Note: If you see somewhere that this is a comedy, don't expect a lot of laughs.

Final Rating: 8.7
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