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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


The Woman Next Door
Directed by Francois Truffaut
Wellspring 1981 DVD/VHS Feature Film

Fanny Ardant and Gerard Depardieu star in Francois Truffaut's The Woman Next Door, another exploration of romantic obsession. The French director has been quoted as saying: "There is more truth in sentimental relationships than in social relationships." The narrator for this film is Mme. Jouve (Veronique Silver), a survivor of unhappy experiences wit l'amour. She tells the story of Mathilde and Bernard, two former lovers who find themselves by chance living next door to each other. He and his wife have a charming son; she and her husband seem to be a model couple. But all is tossed aside as Mathilde and Bernard ravage each other sexually and psychologically (reworking past ecstasy and guilt). The release they seek form their mutual obsession comes in a sad finale. Truffaut's triumph consists in casting the beautiful Ms. Ardant and in his continuing curiosity about the mysteries of sexual politics.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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