The Soft Skin & La Peau douce (1964)

Discussion in 'Archive' started by llanes13, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. llanes13

    llanes13 Guest


    Rating: 7.6/10 (1,319 votes)
    Runtime: 113 min | France:119 min (director
    Language: French | Portuguese | English with English Hard Subs
    Country: France | Portugal
    Color: Black and White
    IMDb Link:
    Director: François Truffaut
    Jean Desailly ... Pierre Lachenay
    Françoise Dorléac ... Nicole (as Françoise Dorleac)
    Nelly Benedetti ... Franca Lachenay
    Daniel Ceccaldi ... Clément
    Laurence Badie ... Ingrid
    Philippe Dumat ... Directeur cinéma Reims
    Paule Emanuele ... Odile
    Maurice Garrel ... Bontemps
    Sabine Haudepin ... Sabine Lachenay
    Dominique Lacarrière ... La secrétaire Dominique
    Jean Lanier ... Michel
    Pierre Risch ... Chanoine

    Description: François Truffaut's fourth feature and his first true masterpiece is essentially a classic love triangle, filmed like a quiet juggernaut that eventually overwhelms all those involved. On a quick trip to Lisbon for a lecture, literary essayist Jean Desailly's eye catches the lovely Françoise Dorléac, the air hostess on his flight. Soon he's asking her out for a drink and a love affair develops in between her flights, as his married life with seductive but demanding wife Nelly Benedetti slowly unravels. Much to Truffaut's credit, there is no judgment passed on any of the characters: whether Desailly is undergoing a dreaded mid-life crisis and wishes to be young again or is merely indulging an intellectual whim, whether he really wants to prove himself he is still a man capable of passion or just looking for a way out of his stifling marriage, is entirely up to the viewer to decide. But the director doesn't avert his eye from the seedy unpleasantness of the central situation, as the masterfully extended Reims interlude and the shock ending prove. Basically, it's a film about the mess people make when they think they're in love, all the more disturbing because Truffaut bases it all on chance meetings and missed opportunities - had Desailly not arrived late for his plane to Lisbon, had Dorléac not called him back at the hotel, maybe none of this would have happened. Marvelously shot in black and white by Nouvelle Vague lenser Raoul Coutard, this was the very first film where Truffaut showed the world all he was capable of; it's a stunningly modern film on the most classic of all melodramatic stories.

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