'Godard Mon Amour' [Blu-ray]
(Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Berenice Bejo, Micha Lescot, Gregory Gadebois, et al / Blu-ray / R / (2017) 2018 / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Overview: In 1967, during the making of "La Chinoise," film director Jean-Luc Godard falls in love with 19-year-old actress Anne Wiazemsky ... and marries her.
Blu-ray Verdict: At the beginning of 1968, Jean-Luc Godard is one of the most highly-respected directors working in French-language cinema. He is both influential and admired.
He has also just married Anne Wiazemsky, a teenage actress seventeen years his junior. He has the more arty end of the film world at his feet, yet he is feeling restless.
Then erupt the Paris student protests which sweep Godard up in their revolutionary fervor. He becomes a supporter of the movement, and his opinions are in turn sought out by the young leaders (although, in the best tradition of ideologues everywhere, they also spend a large amount of their time arguing).
As his marriage to Wiazemsky suffers, Godard heads further down what some might describe as a Maoist path, culminating - for this film's purposes - in the establishment of a sort of film-making collective without hierarchy. Godard may be the director, but his artistic vision is subordinate to the will of the workers, of course.
From the plot description this might seem like a terribly gloomy film, but far from it. It is actually very playful: as Godard, Louis Garrel has to deliver directly to camera the line, "I bet if you told an actor to say actors are dumb, he would do it"; and a scene where Godard and Wiazemsky (played by the frequently unclothed Stacy Martin) discuss film directors' enthusiasm for nude scenes ... is played with both actors naked!
Just how accurate Garrel's portrayal is, I am, of course, unable to say, but for an actor who has rarely before displayed any comedy chops he provides a fine, subtly comic turn here. Indeed, I particularly like the hangdog look his Godard at times displays.
In truth, and all cards on the journalistic table, I am not massively familiar with either Godard or his work. Furthermore, I have little to no patience for pretention. But this film makes the famed auteur a more accessible - sometimes rather likeable - individual; without glossing over his faults (rudeness; arrogance; a controlling element in his relationship with Wiazemsky).
Again, whether it is a fair representation of him I do not know, but it makes for a very interesting film nonetheless. [EG] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
Michael Hazanavicius and Stacy Martin on Goadard Mon Amour