Opening

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Une femme française, (A French Woman) Reviews

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DrStrangeblog
DrStrangeblog

Super Reviewer

October 3, 2011
"Men declare wars, men make peace. All we do is wait around and keep quiet. That's why we go crazy. They just don't realize..."

Seemingly personal film from Regis Wargnier that leaves the audience in the cold about the characters and also bites off too much in attempting a time-and-globe-spanning drama that shifts from Berlin, Paris, Damascus, Indochina, Nancy, and Algeria across 1939 to the 1950's in just 90+ minutes. We don't learn much of anything about this particular French woman Jeanne (Emmanuelle Beart) except that she is powerless to control her rampaging cooch each time her husband Louis (Daniel Auteuil) is dispatched by the military to another part of the globe. I mean, she doesn't even try!

The production design for a war-torn 1944 Berlin, although limited in screen presentation, is quite spectacular, and the ravishing Beart gives mostly a very good performance - it's easy to see why so many men fell at Jeanne's feet as she's the most gorgeous creature on the planet. She has a memorably spirited dance (fueled by the liquid kind of spirits) in a red dress that reminded me of Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita. Auteuil could have been replaced by a statue for most of the first half but finally comes alive once the family divide becomes too wide to ignore. Watchable but unremarkable drama beyond Beart's beauty.
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