Los Angeles Times - 02/11/2000
"...Chabrol shoves aside the mechanics of suspense almost entirely to engage us in a sensitive study of character. As a result, LES BONNES FEMMES remains one of his most individual -- and most satisfying -- works..."
USA Today - 09/29/2000
"...Chabrol captures not only the electricity of simply walking down Paris streets at night, but also the rowdiness of music halls and public swimming pools..."
The dull lives and lofty bourgeois aspirations of four Parisian shop girls serves as the point of departure for Claude Chabrol's haunting French New Wave classic, LES BONNES FEMMES. As the girls count the minutes until their working shift ends, they gossip and contemplate their prospects for happiness. Jane just wants to have fun, Ginette secretly dreams of being a dance-hall singer, Rita longs to get married, and Jacqueline pines after her one true love. The film's luscious black and white quasi-documentary mise-en-scene follows each girl through the treacherous world of early 1960s Paris. Their lives are filled with lecherous men, seedy smoke-filled nightclubs, boring jobs, and uncertain futures. An underlying atmosphere of sadness and foreboding permeates the film as the girls bounce haplessly between work and pleasure, never forming real trusting relations and always frantically searching for the elusive happiness that each of them so desperately needs. When shy, self-effacing, and loveless Jacqueline becomes obsessed with a mysterious man on a motorcycle who follows her everywhere she goes, it seems she will be the one delivered from her terminal ennui. This strange yet affectionate portrait of young lives in struggle is filled with the hopes and fears of a whole generation and ends in a shocking yet compelling climax, true to Chabrol's uniquely dark vision.
New Wave (Film) |