In a French village, Manou is an Italian logger, virile, with a broad laugh. He can't say no to women's sexual invitations, and jealous villagers blame him for recent fires and a flood. He ... See full summary »
Somewhere in Central America in 1907: Maria II is the daughter of an Irish terrorist. After her father's death, she meets Maria I, a singer in a circus. She decides to stay with the circus,... See full summary »
Celestine, the chambermaid, has new job on the country. The Monteils, who she works for are a group of strange people. The wife is frigid, her husband is always hunting (both animals and ... See full summary »
After resolving to start a new life with his girlfriend Jacqueline, Bastien Sassey decides to give up working as a courier for drugs traffickers. So that he and Jacqueline can make a fresh ... See full summary »
Lady M. wades every morning through the sea in order to heal her pain. But she is not what she pretends to be: Together with her partner Pompilius she finances her luxurious life by fraud ... See full summary »
Juliette Merteuil and Valmont is a sophisticated couple, always looking for fun and excitement. Both have sexual affairs with others and share their experiences with one another. But there ... See full summary »
This has to be one of the dullest films of the early Sixties. Remember that Godard, Malle, Truffaut and company had been challenging the traditions of story telling; the world seemed young again, and full of possibilities. Moderato cantabile has nothing of this spirit. It might have been made by an old-guard director like Clément or Delannoy (if they had decided to take a chance on a Duras script).
There isn't much energy or interest in this story: what happens in the first ten minutes is endlessly rehashed throughout the remainder. Belmondo is ill at ease here, or at least seems that way to me--there is no chance for any extroversion, exuberance or even anger from the character. Jeanne Moreau is used decoratively (Brook must have seen what Resnais was able to do with Delphine Seyrig in Last Year In Marienbad) and always looks elegant, if never really desperate or anguished. You know something's wrong when the piano teacher provides much of the dramatic interest: she's bullying the child into giving her a Diabelli sonata "moderately, with a singing feeling".
Note: I have just remembered that Clément did do a Duras script (Barrage contre le Pacifique) in 1958.
7 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?