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Please try again later. Verified Purchase. Excellent film, set during WW2, fascinating and exposing about moral dilemas, the reconciliation of faith and belief and how we as humans must be challenged out of our pre-conceived notions and beliefs about faith, church and most importantly Christ, and what really matters is often neglected due to our preconceived understanding of what church might be, and actually the liberation and love of God.
Great if you are exploring the real concepts of faith and possibly priesthood. One person found this helpful. Delivered on time and to expected quality. If,like me, all you knew of Melville were his gangster pics of men in trechcoats and fedoras planning their heists that invariably go wrong, and came to this film late, boy are you in for a surprise! This film about faith the need for, the lack of It tells you that Melville, had he shaken off his American film noir infatuations, could have worked across any genre and achieved perfection.
Here was a guy who KNEW cinema. A masterpiece! You would not associate the dashing young Jean-Paul Belmondo with the role of a priest. His nose appears more suited to the profession of a pugilist rather than a priest! But this is the world of film, and a priest is what he plays! What is more surprising. Using the same rational you would probably not think Jean-Pierre Melville would be the director of this "thinking mans romance". If someone had mentioned his name to me a couple of months ago I may at a stretch have recalled he made a few gangsters films, but would have been hard pressed to name any one film.
But this film is emphatic proof that he was perfectly capable of making a fine film outside of his favourite genre. In the film Emmanuele Riva, very fetching in bobby socks, plays Barny an attractive sexually frustrated widow.
Barny is a communist militant with her own strong view of life. But her life is changed when she makes a random visit to a priest for confession, in order to give him, "a piece of her mind". But this confessional does not go to plan, and she finds herself meeting him for further intellectual religious discussions.
As time goes on she becomes inexoraby and irressistably drawn to him. But is the feeling reciprocated? Could this one sided romance be doomed from the beginning?
If you are a person who likes some action in his films, then forget it, this is not for you. This makes "The Antiques Roadshow" look like an action fest! All the sexual chemistry is cleverly implied, which has the effect of sending out even more sparks between the couple. Belmondo is a man who takes his vows seriously. He is pursued by a number of attractve young women in the Brigitte Bardot mould, who use all the feminine wiles at their disposal to seduce him.
It is as if he is being tempted with a desert experience like the one who he so faithfully serves endured. But this priest is made of flesh and blood. It is apparent from his meagre possessions that he does not covet wealth. As the story progresses Melville manages to produce electricity from the simple brushing together of the couple. It is this subtlety that lifts this film above the ordinary romance into something greater.
Melville has crafted something very different and shows his creative ability outside of the gangster film. It is sad that his early death robbed us of the possibility of seeing more films like this from him. But therein lies a problem for UK and European buyers The confessional scene is particularly memorable, well worth watching. See all reviews from the United Kingdom. Top international reviews. Translate all reviews to English. Thank you for your feedback. Sorry, we failed to record your vote.
Please try again. Translate review to English. In WWII Nazi occupied France a woman comes to terms with her spirituality through her budding friendship with a priest. But is it religious ecstasy or something more carnal that compels her? Now, this film is not for everyone--especially Mellville fans who are expecting fedoras and trenchcoats It seems to be done in bits and pieces that fit together so well that you don't really notice how it seems to jump around, but this is not a fault, it is fantastically executed by Mellville who made one great film after another The black and white cinematography is superb, and seems to mix in many shades of gray, which gives it a somewhat different look Morin wants to convert Barny but her primary interest is getting laid.
They spend time together debating faith and it seems she is converted but is it sincere? Melville doesn't seem to think so.
I'm not so sure. The sexual tension and theolgical debates make this film fascinating and one of the most faith affirming films I've ever seen and from a confirmed atheist Melville nonetheless! Excellent dialogue delivered by J.
P, Belmondo and rest of cast. VERY strange outlook on life by any priest past or present. Load more international reviews. The cover was damaged, sad and unpleasant. All in order, expectations met, criterion collection is the best for all cinephiles out there, highly recommended. Packaging no trouble with it either.
A wonderful movie. I highly recommend it. Gives a real feel of the war years and early days after the liberation of France. Excellent film, DVD transfer looks crisp. Sound is nice.