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