My Night at Maud's (Ma Nuit chez Maud) Reviews
Characteristic of Rohmer, this film is about tension--sexual, moral, or even both--and that tension is established well, not only between the film's characters, but also tension against your own moral codes. This film aims to make you think, and that it achieves.
Here's the 100% spoiler lowdown:
Trintignant goes to Mass. Trintignant runs into long-lost friend. Trintignant takes friend to Christmas Eve Mass. Trintignant and friend dine in apartment of gorgeous brunette divorcee Maud (Fabian), who happens to be the friend's major booty call. Dinner talk is a lengthy, snobby, impenetrable, utterly pretentious French bourgeois discussion about religious philosophy, dwelling on Pascal. (Brush-up in advance.) Trintignant drolls on about his own moral, religious nature, explaining it still allows him to skirt-chase.
Now, at minute 44, things barely get interesting. Maud slips into a t-shirt (cheeks-out), climbs into her bed that conveniently faces right next to her living-room chairs, starts rolling around in her sheets, then drops words like "exhibitionism" and "seduction" into conversation. Friend, recognizing he's being dealt-out of the bedding, skips. While Maud's sprawled across the bed leering ''open for business," Trintignant monologues yet ANOTHER 20 minutes about his beliefs regarding religion and true love. Maud begs him throughout, in various provocative ways, to just STFU and take her.
He never does man-up to the noble cause. Accordingly, she calls him "child" and "idiot" for it right into his face. These are the most honest lines of dialogue in the film.
Next morning, he makes a wishy-washy move on Maud, but Maud, far too pro, doesn't do wishy-washies.
Now it's minute 75.
Trintignant and Maud talk it up all that day. Trintignant picks up a co-ed blonde parishioner on the street. They marry. Five years later, Trintignant discovers his blonde wife was once Maud's lover, whom Maud dumped cold.
The director labeled this film a "moral tale." I guess the moral is "Don't run with women outside of church because they're too fast for you."
Excellent B&W Criterion restoration. Droll extras include even more pretentious French talking heads, talking about--guess what--Pascal.
Altough the movie is very good, it lacks what is necessary to become a masterpiece, with a better cinematography or better performances.
Note: If you see somewhere that this is a comedy, don't expect a lot of laughs.
Final Rating: 8.7
On y voit √©galement Clermont-Ferrand comme vous l'avez toujours detest√©: gris, moche et froid.