My Life to Live (It's My Life) (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux) Reviews
Overall, worth checking out for movie nerds (those who love the craft), but pretty much nobody else.
Godard's shots linger on simple beauty and his characters spout complex philosophy, but it's the great auteur's unpredictability of form that'll really keep cinephiles glued to their screens. The film blends documentary, tragedy, neo-realism and silent cinema aesthetics, and Anna Karina gives us a fine performance from start to finish. But hey, what film fan wouldn't love a movie character who goes to kitsch cinemas to check out, and cry over, Carl Theodor Dreyer?
The film is told in 12 episodic tales which have titles and their own sections of the tale, such as certain Tarantino films including Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and Inglourious Basterds. For me, 12 seemed a little much, and it felt like it could have been done with a few of the episodes left out. I am not complaining about the length, it is still relatively a short movie, but I think I remember one or two episodes that were too short to be considered their own episodes in my opinion.
I think it is great for Godard to work with such subject matter; the only "explicit" film I remember seeing from around this era was "Persona" by Bergman, and I was shocked at the language they used - I thought people were only that vulgar in movies towards the end of the 60s and onwards. However, there are shots that seem uninteresting, including the final shot of the film, and the final scene in general makes the film end on a very abrupt note.
This is a good character study which has darker material than the mise-en-scene/lighting/tone of the film. I would have liked to see this darkness portrayed in the visuals, but this is still a good film.