Nouvelle Vague

From the Chicago Reader (November 17, 2006). — J.R.

Alain Delon stars in what may be the last truly great theatrical feature by Jean-Luc Godard to date (1990), though it’s never had a U.S. distributor. It’s also one of his most challenging and difficult films, which helps to explain its scarcity, but it’s also hard to think of many films in Godard’s career that look as beautiful. Filmed in lush Swiss locations that are very close to where Godard grew up, the film is in part a sustained reverie on what it means both to be rich and not to be rich, and the contrapuntal role played here by the wealthy characters and their servants is part of what makes this film so operatic in feeling. In keeping with Godard’s compulsive practice of quoting, every line of dialogue is purportedly traceable to a literary source, with Raymond Chandler and William Faulkner among the many authors utilized. In French with subtitles. 84 min. (JR)

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