Wednesday, November 21, 2012
It's hard to say if she's actually bored with them or that the initial spark has long fizzled out. (Malle doesn't specify at any point.) All that's confirmed is that Jeanne wants some excitement in her dull life.
Enter Bernard Dubois-Lambert (Jean-Marc Bory), a man who helps Jeanne one fateful day. Their initial meeting is mutual at best. But time wears on (just mere hours), and possible feelings develop.
This is where it gets interesting. Malle doesn't condemn Jeanne for her promiscuous behavior nor does he glorify it. He merely depicts her as a woman who wants attention from a man, physically or emotionally. And Moreau makes her come to life. Think of Jeanne as a femme fatale minus the lethal nature amid her seductive attitude.
It slows down during the second act, but The Lovers is an interesting film. The controversy it received back in 1958 seems tame now but you can clearly see how it got critics in an uproar. It may not be my favorite Malle film (that goes to Atlantic City), but it did convince me to see more of his work.
My Rating: ****1/2