A Man and a Woman

1966

A Man and a Woman

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,481
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A Man and a Woman Photos

Movie Info

The ultimate "date" movie of the mid-1960s, director Claude Lelouch's A Man and a Woman (Un Homme et Une Femme) stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimee in the title roles. The twosome meet at the boarding school where their children are enrolled. Aimee, an actress, misses her train home, and Trintignant, a professional race car driver, offers her a ride. It is the first of several friendly encounters which eventually blossom into love. Both want to commit to each other, but neither can shake the Past. The now-famous climactic scene in a train station was not scripted at the time of shooting, thus Aimee was unaware that director Lelouch had decided upon a tearful reunion between her and Trintignant. This explains the look of utter surprise on the actress' face. Much has been written about the possible motivation behind Lelouch's decision to film some scenes in color, others in black-and-white. None of the more ardent auterists truly want to hear the director's explanation: he'd run short of money halfway through production, and black-and-white film stock was infinitely cheaper. The winner of two Oscars (one for Best Foreign Film), A Man and A Woman also scored on the "top ten" with its memorable theme music by Francis Lai. A sequel, A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later appeared....twenty years later. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Anouk Aimée
as Anne Gauthier
Jean-Louis Trintignant
as Jean-Louis Duroc
Pierre Barouh
as Pierre Gauthier
Valérie Lagrange
as Valerie Duroc
Simone Paris
as Headmistress
Antoine Sire
as Antoine Duroc
Souad Amidou
as Francoise Gauthier
Yane Barry
as Mistress of Jean-Louis
Paul Le Person
as Garage Man
Henri Chemin
as Jean-Louis' Codriver
Gerard Sire
as Announcer
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Critic Reviews for A Man and a Woman

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

  • It's full of misty romps in the meadows, rain-soaked windshields, assorted puppies and lambs, and a 'bittersweet' theme song that drones incessantly on the sound track.

    Jan 15, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Anouk Aimee has a mature beauty and an ability to project an inner quality that helps stave off the obvious banality of her character, and this goes too for the perceptive Jean-Louis Trintignant as the man.

    Jan 15, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Notoriously schmaltzy but still undeniably eye-catching.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • They seem two dimly sentient beings moved by memories of conventional affections and the compulsions of ordinary love.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Failing to find the words to resolve this situation, Lelouch leaves the rest of his story to his songwriters, and, predictably, the picture sinks into the sticky swamp of adolescent lovisms.

    Jun 26, 2019 | Full Review…
  • This rightfully holds a special place in the hearts of filmgoers everywhere.

    May 31, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Man and a Woman

  • Sep 16, 2014
    A romantic story from the 1960s France starring the renowned actor Jean-Louis Trintignant and the talented actress Anouk Aimée (<i>Lola</i>, 1961)! Winner of the OCIC Award and the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival of 1966! That sounds convincing so far. Wait... Nominated for 4 Academy Awards in 1967, out of which 2 were won, which are Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen, and Best Foreign Language Film. Now that's a bad omen... It's not that I want to speak bad about the Academy, but... Well, in fact I do want to talk bad about the Academy. It actually turns me on... ----------- So here we have an attractive recipe because its ingredients seem tasty enough, prepared at the right time, and with an enticing reputation thanks to Cannes. After all, few films open their initial credits proudly displaying their Palme d'Or. This is a damn mixed bad which left me frustrated, and yet longing for more. First, we have the visual style, which is the most troublesome aspect of it all. It constantly makes transitions between black-and-white and Eastmancolor. Why? No apparent reason, really. It is not nostalgia. It is not the characters feeling sad or depressed, and therefore repressing their sentiments towards one another. It wasn't something chronological, either. In fact, that would make even less sense. Nothing fits. Lelouch only wanted to say: "Hey! Look! I passed my Film University courses and I learned how to shoot images in both styles!" Good job there, boy. Second, the cinematography, which is surely gorgeous and well balanced, feels like being given more importance than to the emotional development of the characters. This is supposed to be a drama that reunites two people in common circumstances (a widow and a widower) that slowly unravel their feelings and personalities between each other while they balance their past love life and their current existence. Both the past and the current existence are also given sporadic attention. Ergo, with no proper background, it becomes even more difficult to feel sympathy for the characters, and easier to feel betrayed at the resolution. This is written not with the intention of implying that a film that gives more importance to the style commits a sin when forgetting about its characters; on the contrary, if your plot does not justify the style - like it should have happened here - credibility begins to show a decreasing trend. Thirdly, so maybe the fact that the characters are difficult to relate to because we have the cinematography and the gorgeous, catchy main score invading the story, maybe we can, then, focus on the story. Well, the problem is that the entire content of the sandwich is boring. Really, displaying scenes with no relevance for 50 minutes in the middle with some brief, but interesting intersections of plot management can deteriorate the experience, and it surely does here. This film would have worked way better if it actually had committed to its own responsibilities or to explore new potential areas, like the potentially successful character analysis/dissection it could have been, and that have increased in popularity today thanks to the work of Linklater and Kiarostami. Even the incredibly simplistic title is a sign about the predominant superficiality of it all. But then, we have some weird intermissions that take us out of the Hollywood realm, of the predictable territory and of the corny garden where cinematic clichés flourish, and we find ourselves in the middle of moments that are either hypnotic, thought-provoking or simply captivating from an emotional point of view: key scenes like the couple watching a man alone with his dog walking alike, and then talking about how a person can be beautiful if the person chooses life above art; like a son speaking about his dream to become a fireman and asking for a Coca-Cola in Spanish; like the last act, which seems like an attempt by the film to ammend past mistakes and put additional layers to the story. I see waited potential wherever I see, because there is love and intelligence at every corner, but poorly delivered... Maybe not poorly, but "uninspired" is the word, no matter how beautiful the last tracking shot is, no matter how strongly stories about couples dissecting themselves slowly resonate in my heart, no matter that it has two of my favorite French actors in my favorite decade of cinema, no matter how many times I will hum ("lalala") the main theme from now on during the entire week, like I am doing right now. I am being generous with it because it is not a conventional love story. It is pretty good at staying away from emotional manipulation stunts and clichés that push you away from a more realistic dream. There are strong strokes of poetry displayed throughout an uneven canvas of passion and self-discovery. 66/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2013
    Apparently this was the date movie back in the sixties. What it gives to me is another extraordinary triumph of the French cinema at the time.The characters are well defined and the viewer gets a true emotional attachment.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 08, 2009
    Yes one more classic film but this time is Europian.A Man and a Woman (French: Un homme et une femme) is a 1966 French film. The movie was written by Claude Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven, and directed by Lelouch.Great photography and memorable musical(Strongly sentimental and definitely has a very specific mood) score by Francis Lais.This charming romance may not exactly sound the depths of male-female relations, but in its flashy cutting, enraptured camera movements, glamorous locations, appealing performers, and undercurrent of bittersweet romantic longing, the film is as pleasurable as the lightest of soufflés. Jean-Louis Trintignant is the best Europian anwser to all American actorrs.
    Arianeta L Super Reviewer
  • Apr 30, 2009
    "un homme et une femme"(a man and a woman) is one of the popular french new wave movies which had swept over america with its monpoly on the market of foreign cinema then in 1966. the intertextuality of the synchronized events in various field is my usual thinking mode, the approach new wave applies on non-linear story-telling is highly influenced by the rising popularity of french new-novel like margret duras. the theory is to dissect the fragments of living events then sew them up together spontaneously as the protagonist's freewheeling minds lead. so you witness one segment of past or the envisage of future jumps to the present as our mind usually reels randomly into various visceral images at one moment. you could deem it as the deficiency of attention focus or lack of concentration, but the course of sentimentaity and human emotions are inclined to occur more often in this way since distractions've become more of common symptom due to the contagion of media. the most frequent set in "un homme et une femme" is within the car when the leads are chattering about each other, but you cannot really grasp too much within the conversations but the rampant images conjured up by the leads as they utter their tales of life. rather than dialogue-driven, it's prompted mainly by visionary scenes, intermittent narrations there from the man to speak of his mind and his motivations and hesitations on certain actions of his, but never the woman's? woman here stays as the enigmatic muse for the man to covet just like the conventional state of genders. (so it cannot be a sentimental chic flick but a romantic male-centered movie about a man's infatuation over a woman,) for audience like me who watches too many american or anglophilic films may find it a slackening dozer but still somehow refreshed by such novelty of story-telling, at least it is faithful to its simplicity without over-flaunting the new-wave expertises to over-complicate the matters. the soundtrack is dreamily metropolitan and the views of those locations seem to be idyllic to demonstrate those ordinary but lovely sceneries in france like mobile postcards. boredom may strike you during watching it, but it gives you a hearty smile at the final 15 mins with a reasonable twist like the miracle most people in love would pray for. the notably creative scene would probably be two leads making love when the woman thinks of the memories of intimacy with her demised husband that leaves the man cold as his partner's mind drifts over somewhere else, and the lady's comment is simply "i never lie to you that he's dead but he still lives in my heart"..such frastrating honesty. there's no melodrama but brief moments of life's absurdity in a realistic way. also there's nothing too intense or provocatively passionate about "un homme et une femme" but those possible scenarios which might happen to some of us who have the bless to fall in love. (ps) my best advice would be listening to the soundtrack, as the director claims that he chose the music for the story he wrote first then everything else was built along the moods of melodies. indeed the soundtrack of "un homme et une femme" is probably one of the best in cinematic history, without it the movie could be a complete bore.
    Veronique K Super Reviewer

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