Une Femme Douce (A Gentle Woman) (1969)
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The original French title for Gentle Creature is Une Femme Douce. Both affectionate appellations refer to leading lady Dominique Sanda, a popular model of the 1960s, here making her film debut (Incredibly, she was chosen for the role by director Robert Bresson on the basis of her voice!) Sanda's first appearance is as a gorgeous corpse; she has committed suicide, and her pawnbroker husband (Guy Frangin) doesn't know why. It takes him nearly the entire movie to figure out what the audience has suspected all along: That the ravishing Dominique felt stifled by her husband's cloistered lifestyle. Gentle Creature was director Robert Bresson's first color film, and he proves himself as much a master with hues as he did in monochrome. Filmed in 1969, Gentle Creature was released in the U.S. in 1971, taking full advantage of Dominique Sanda's new international popularity. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Une Femme Douce (A Gentle Woman)
Bresson's first film in colour, a wonderfully lucid adaptation of Dostoievsky's enigmatic short story.
In Robert Bresson's first film in color, he updates an enigmatic Dostoyevsky short story of a woman's loveless marriage to a pawnbroker.
The usual language of critical praise seems beside the point in discussing Bresson, but please understand that I mean this to be a rave review.
Audience Reviews for Une Femme Douce (A Gentle Woman)
A strange sort of cold love with a few demonstrations of affection and tenderness. The "gentle woman" superficially seems to be passionate and innocent; the reveal of her character scares specially herself.
Based on Dostoevsky´s A Gentle Creature, "Une Femme Douce" begins with a suicide and shows a typical realtionship where an orphan poor girl marries the owner of a pawnshop. The characteristics of their relationship, the lack of conversation, the isolation of both characters, her attitudes towards him show a relationship where each one has a specific role: he is the provider, she is the "submitted" wife. At first, the angry and the revolt. Caught in a life she can´t stand, she thinks about killing him. Surprised, scared and ashamed, unable to suit up, she kills herself.
Like in "Lolita", all we have are the words of a hurted man that needs to tell the story to get off his guilty and, maybe, try to reconstruct that one who was his object of desire.
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