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Lumière Movie Review

moreau jeanne selfish huster

Jeanne Moreau assembled an impressive cast (including Keith Carradine, who has very little to do here) and technical crew, but the result is a carefully wrought film in every respect except one: Moreau, clearly wanting to reveal the strong ties that bind women together, gets sidetracked by (and overwhelmed with) the superficial ways in which her characters express their concern for one another. She never takes her characters one step further. In one sequence, a lady invites her male seducer to join her for a tryst. She has, in fact, dumped two other men so that she may be alone with this guy, and never at any point does she suggest to her pursuer that she wants anything from him other than casual sex. When he follows through on her invitation, she wriggles away from him, and Moreau's direction implies criticism that he would even begin to construe such an idea. Moreau casually sprinkles this sort of skin-deep critique throughout her script. Only one female character in Lumière is fully dimensional, and that seems to be due more to the skill of Lucia Bose than to the insubstantial part Moreau wrote for her. François Simon and Francis Huster are quite moving as two men whom Moreau discards in her onscreen role as Sarah. The four women Moreau attempts to capture with such complexity emerge as selfish drips, and not very interesting selfish drips at that.

1976 (R) 101m/C FR Jeanne Moreau, Lucia Bose, Francine Racette, Caroline Cartier, Keith Carradine, Francois Simon, Francis Huster, Bruno Ganz, Rene Feret, Niels Arestrup, Jerome Lapperrousaz; D: Jeanne Moreau; W: Jeanne Moreau; C: Ricardo Aronovich; M: Astor Piazzolla. VHS

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