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Author Topic: French Noir: Eaux profondes (1981)/Patricia Highsmith's Deep Water.  (Read 88 times)
morrison-dylan-fan
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« on: April 22, 2017, 04:13:30 PM »


Hi all,for the last week or so my viewings have dried up due to taking care of ill family members,but I recently caught this superb French Neo-Noir.

10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After the earthy Neo-Noir Coup de torchon exceeded all my expectations,I decided to see if lead actress Isabelle Huppert made any other titles in 1981. Always looking out for Patricia Highsmith adaptation since seeing The Talented Mr.Ripley in the early 2000's,I was thrilled to stumble on an adaptation with Huppert,which led to me dipping into the pool.

The plot:

Nearing their 8th wedding anniversary, Vic Allen nonchalantly accepts the "open" state of his younger wife Melanie's side of the marriage. Bringing any guy back home who takes her fancy,Vic watches on as Melanie gets close to each new lover. Wanting to "joke" around with the guys,Vic tells them a story about how he one time killed a former lover of Melanie. Seeing little point in keeping the marriage going,Melanie starts making divorce plans so that she can get together with her new lover. Fearing that Melanie is about to leave,Vic pushes his previously nonchalant side over the deep end.

View on the film:

Drawing every guy with her gaze, Isabelle Huppert gives an entrancing performance as Melanie,whose flirting Huppert gives a relaxed nature to,which Huppert sharply balances by giving Melanie icy, Femme Fatale nails that scratch at Vic's attempt to stop Melanie getting her "toy." Watching his wife make out, Jean-Louis Trintignant gives a wonderful performance as Vic,who initially acts just a bit too friendly towards everyone. Keeping the anxiety in the marriage simmering away, Trintignant shatters Vic's calm with a calculating Noir loner manner that uncoils as Vic gets Melanie's lovers in his grasp.

Backed by a deliciously brash Jazz score,co-writer/(with Florence Delay and Christopher Frank) director Michel Deville & cinematographer Claude Lecomte whirl Film Noir chic with the dazzling style of the Giallo. While Vic and Melanie hit a dark stage in their marriage, Deville lashes the screen in vibrant reds and Giallo yellow that give the title a sweet pulp atmosphere. Cracking the relaxed shell of Vic, Deville hits the screen with ultra- stylised,scatter-shot whip-pans and razor sharp editing stabbing the murderous calculations Vic has made.

Swimming in Patricia Highsmith's novel,the screenplay by Delay/ Frank/Deville cleverly give the couple a "free love" appearance for the opening,which subtly pulls the viewers guard down. Slicing into the Noir decay of the marriage,the writers brilliantly burn layer by layer the facade Vic has made Melanie believe,as Vic sets his sights on the designated victim.


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