Jules et Jim (PG)
Friday 30 May 2008
An inter-war idyll, a dream of innocence, a love letter to la vie bohème, whichever way you take it, François Truffaut's best-known film retains the charm, if not the impact, it had on release 46 years ago. It's also, touchingly, a lesson in the endurance of friendship, which blossoms between two poets, an Austrian named Jules (Oskar Werner) and a Frenchman, Jim (Henri Serre) in the early years of the century. Their love for the same woman, Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), can no more alienate them than the intervention of the First World War, when they fight on rival sides.
Rapprochement, marriage, and a peculiar ménage-à-trois follow, with the indomitable Catherine presiding over the two men as "a queen", "a force of nature", even "a real woman", and it is tribute to Moreau's protean skill that she inhabits this multiform creature so credibly. Truffaut sports with technique – jumpcuts, overlaps, freeze-frames – almost as one discovering cinema for the first time. Only in the last reel does his tone fail; Catherine's indecision seems less free-spirited defiance than attention-seeking flakiness. Naturally it ends in tears – and it still looks great.
Watch the Jules et Jim trailer
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly