|Writers||Robert Bresson (adaptation) (uncredited)
Fyodor Dostoevsky (from the short story by)
|Cast||Dominique Sanda Guy Frangin Jeanne Lobre Claude Ollier Jacques Kébadian Gilles Sandier Dorothée Blanck|
|Plot||A young woman kills herself, leaving no explanation to her grief-stricken pawnbroker husband. We learn in flashback about how they met, married, and how she failed to adapt her lifestyle to his. Disgusted with his attempts to dominate her, she considered murdering him, but found herself unable to do it...... see Une femme douce on IMDb|
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|A curtain blows near an open window. A limp, crooked arm lays on the street, followed by motionless hands and the back of a head. Finally we see the dead body of a young woman (Dominique Sanda) and the crowd of feet that have gathered around, the scene of a suicide. Her story is related in flashback by her husband (Guy Frangin), a guilt-ridden pawnbroker who paces around her body lying in state. A couple like any other, they attend movies and theater, argue, make up, and make love. But director Robert Bresson shows us only the girl's sadness and systematic smothering under her husband's greed, jealousy, and increasing control. Even when the soundtrack erupts in peals of joy and laughter, such moments are left offscreen. It's Bresson's first color film and he mutes the colors to such a dull flatness that the interiors are like a dark, suffocating prison. Only in the sun do the screen and the girl spark to life. It's as rigorous as any of Bresson's works--the characters, tellingly, are not given names and there's a marvelous tension between the claustrophobic home life and the busy world of city streets and art galleries outside--but the picture lacks the understated beauty of his previous films until the climax. Bresson plays her suicide as a lovely, delicate gesture of freedom, a powerful, painful, achingly beautiful moment of resignation and transcendence all in one graceful gesture. --Sean Axmaker|
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