Louis Garrel, Stacey Martin
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…offers ample indulgence for film fans and Francophiles alike.
Returning to a familiar cinematic world, Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, takes on the tumultuous life of a French great in Redoubtable aka Godard, Mon Amour.
Nearly 50 years after the Paris student riots in 1968, of which Redoubtable is the subject and director Jean-Luc Godard was a participant in, and released at a time when the master himself has a new film debuting at Cannes [The Image Book], Hazanavicius has adapted a memoir by one-time Godard love, actress Anne Wiazemsky.
The film centers on the fraught 1967-68 period, a time of dramatic change for both the world and the Nouvelle Vague figurehead. It is during this period that Godard (played by Louis Garrel) courts his future wife Anne Wiazemsky (Stacey Martin of Nymphomaniac), who appeared in Robert Bresson’s Au Hazard Balthazar.
This is a film that those who are interested in and care about cinema will love. They are the target audience and will appreciate an attempt to shine a light on the enigmatic figure that is Godard, with Hazanavicius emulating some of the tricks developed by Godard, along with the chic style of France at the time.
Interested more in Godard’s persona and identity than myth, the film explores a pivotal time in the legendary filmmaker’s life after the global success of Breathless and Contempt, when he started to question what he believed in, and began to veer towards a more radical approach, entering his Maoist phase and moving away from commercial movies. There is a great quote in the film that exemplifies this: “I’m not Godard”.
While the film doesn’t capture the panache of Godard’s films (though Michel Hazanavicius’ colourful filmmaking style is entertaining in its own right) or Godard himself, or quite bring the figure to life, it offers ample indulgence for film fans and Francophiles alike.