Bed & Board (Domicile Conjugal)

1970

Bed & Board (Domicile Conjugal)

Critics Consensus

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78%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,234
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Movie Info

In the fourth installment of François Truffaut's Antoine Doniel series, this romantic comedy shows how Antoine (Jean-Pierre Léaud) went from being a mischievous boy to an adorably charming young man of 26. Domicile Conjugal begins with Antoine settling down with Christine (Claude Jade), his girlfriend from the previous film, Baisers volés. He finds himself accepted and loved by his wife and her family, so the young couple move in to an apartment building together. They live in a lively neighborhood of interesting characters, such as the old man who never leaves and the opera singer who fights with his wife. Antoine finds work as a florist painting roses, while Christine makes a living by teaching violin lessons. After he gets involved in an accidental fire at the florist's, he gets a new job with an American corporation where he steers radio-controlled boats around a pond all day. A big change occurs when Christine becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby boy, while Antoine grows increasingly distant. Eventually, he becomes infatuated with a Japanese girl, Kyoko (Hiroko Berghauer), resulting in some shifts in lifestyle. The fifth and final Antoine Doniel film L'Amour en fuite was released in 1979, picking up the story with Antoine after he reaches his thirties. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

Cast

Jean-Pierre Léaud
as Antoine Doinel
Claude Jade
as Christine Darbon Doinel
Daniel Ceccaldi
as M. Darbon
Kika Markham
as Anne Brown
Claire Duhamel
as Mme. Darbon
Nobuko Mati
as Kyoko's Friend
Pierre Fabre
as The sneerer
Claude Vega
as Strangler
Joseph Merieau
as Person in Courtyard
Ryu Nakamura
as Japanese Secretary
Billy Kearns
as American Customer
Guy Pierrault
as SOS Employee
Silvana Blasi
as Tenor's Wife
Marianne Piketti
as Violin Pupil
Jacques Jouanneau
as Bistro Landlord
Marie Irakane
as Housekeeper
Serge Rousseau
as Unknown person
Pierre Maguelon
as Customer in Bistro
Annick Asty
as Mother of young violinist
Jacques Rispal
as Pensioner
Sylvana Blasi
as Tenor's wife
Yvon Lec
as Contract employee
Christian de Tilière
as String-puller
Ernest Menzer
as Little man
Ada Lonati
as Hotel Owner
Marcel Mercier
as 1st man in yard
Marcel Berbert
as Employee in US Company
Nicole Félix
as Employee in US Company
Jérôme Richard
as Employee in US Company
Iska Khan
as Koyko's Father
View All

Critic Reviews for Bed & Board (Domicile Conjugal)

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (4)

  • It is laced with little incidents, quirky characters, incisive insights and quintessentially French national traits of complacency that avoid chauvinism in Truffaut's gentle but never sentimental or indulgent treatment.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • For those who found Truffaut's later work becoming flaccid, this fourth instalment in the continuing saga of Antoine Doinel provides plenty of critical ammunition.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Bed and Board is one of the most decent and loving films I can remember.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • I can't help believing that François Truffaut's latest Antoine Doinel comedy, Bed and Board, will turn out to be one of the loveliest, most intelligent movies we'll see in all of 1971.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5
  • The sadness of the film's decaying domesticity keeps undermining it, giving it the air of a melancholy B-side to what's come before.

    May 16, 2003

    Keith Phipps

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • The film is entertaining and discreetly sentimental, though perhaps a little too flattering to the fantasies of the young adult audience.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bed & Board (Domicile Conjugal)

  • Aug 01, 2014
    Antoine Doinel at a pay phone: <i>Hello? Hello, may I speak to Jean? Ah, hello madame Eustache. May I speak to Jean Eustache, please? Please tell him Antoine Doinel is a father! Yes yes, tell him Antoine Doinel has a little boy. Thank you. Don't forget to give him the message.</i> *Edgar's brain starts to work* Ohhhh, I get it! Oh these crazy references y'all! ------------------- Well, the film joyously opens with Christine Darbon from the previous installment <i>Stolen Kisses</i> (1968) as the new Christine Darbon Doinel. So yes, as implied by the famous cover of the film, the girlfriend from <i>Stolen Kisses</i> is now a wife. It definitely has been a long way since Antoine ran to the sea in 1959. There is a theory circulating that claims that as the "Antoine Doinel series" kept moving forward, the character itself started to resemble Truffaut less and became closer to Jean-Pierre Léaud himself. Of course, this is impossible for us to know for sure unless we had met both Truffaut and Léaud personally back in the 60s. It is a curious thought, however, because Léaud was 15 years old in <i>The 400 Blows</i>, and 26 by the time <i>Domicile Conjugal</i> came out. Léaud was famous for improvising his dialogues and providing ideas to any director that worked with him. Truffaut, therefore, not only had to adapt his new character to his changing growth stages, but to a real-life changing Paris, changing social trends, changing unstable times in France as a nation, changing film censors and a changing Léaud in real life. No wonder why his style began to mutate, and rather unevenly. This implied that his films got more accessible each time. Although the free-spirited and improvisatory magic of the adventurous <i>Stolen Kisses</i> wasn't maintained 100%, this is definitely his funniest film. The gags and comedic moments remind of the subtlety of Tati in <i>Mon Oncle</i> (1958), although not as masterful or precise. Still, this movie still has the ability to transport anybody to a much simpler world where problems are kept in proportion and both Léaud and Jade kept growing in their careers. 77/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2009
    I also recently saw "Stolen Kisses" (the preceding entry in Truffaut's Antoine Doinel series), and "Bed & Board" does not match that film's charms. Like "Stolen Kisses," "Bed & Board" doesn't have much plot in the traditional sense, and instead just comes off like a quick eavesdrop into what's new with Antoine. Now he's married to Christine (Claude Jude, the same gamine cutie from "Stolen Kisses"), and the couple outputs a son in a highly casual, undramatic way. However, tensions arise when Antoine has a fling with a kimono'ed Japanese woman who barely speaks English. The story doesn't go much further than this, though it dabbles with subplots for some more minor characters, such as a surly neighbor, another sexually aggressive one and a pitiful friend who continually borrows money. But intentionally, none of these fragments pay off in a satisfying way. Trainspotters might watch for a brief "special effect" involving a blossoming flower which seems notably outside Truffaut's usual directing style.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2009
    Francois Truffaut is the family member, maybe an uncle or a distant cousin, who always tells good stories. He may narrate the simplest episodes with a tenderness, an openness of spirit, that engages. He is the most creative director whose work I have ever seen. He infuses all of his films with sincerity and beauty that can only really be achieved through a deep, deep admiration for the art of cinema and for the tiniest details of human life. Bed and Board may not be the world's most interesting movie on paper, but when you're watching it, it is. Antoine Doinel is a newlywed in Bed and Board. His wife is the wonderful Claude Jade, so cute as Christine. Their daily life is quaint, relaxed, very intimate. They are going to have a baby. Antoine happens to meet a Japanese girl whose allure he can't resist, and begins an affair with her. Ever the free spirit, Antoine has a hard time conforming with a fixed situation, a fixed location, a fixed girlfriend. He loves his wife, but he can't bring himself to resist external temptations. Christine is very polite, proper, bourgeoise, and we all know Antoine's upbringing was not exactly the same... so at times he feels uncomfortable in this new lifestyle, he needs a break. Bed and Board tells a sweet story about sacrificing the constant search for excitement and the ideallistic notions we have about what we want our lives to be, and the process of giving value to what we do have. Antoine doesn't have to settle down if he doesn't want to, he just has to go through all these things, ups and downs, to discover by himself that he DOES want to. Happens to everyone. Happens in life. Happened to Truffaut, and happens here. Things fall in and out of place, situations are never clear, everything is relative to everyone. Soon Antoine will discover where his loyalty lies. Maybe this is all unexciting on paper. And yet it is so enrapturing when watched. Bed and Board is funny and witty as much as it is romantic. Truffaut can elevate anyone's emotional intelligence with his craft. Jean Pierre Leaud never disappoints, especially not when playing Antoine Doinel, possibly his most important role ever. I can't wait to see Baisers Voles now.
    Elvira B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2008
    Not quite as good as Stolen Kisses, or the 400 Blows, but the 4th Antoine Doinel movie still much to say about marriage and life in general.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer

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