french films > Mélo




Review score: * * * * *

cast: Sabine Azéma, Fanny Ardant, Pierre Arditi, André Dussollier

year: 1986

colour: yes

certificate: PG

director: Alain Resnais

runtime: 112

The first of Resnais' films to deal directly with theatricality (a red plush curtain is much in evidence), Mélo is based on a 1929 play about a flapper (Azéma) who cheats on her devoted husband (Arditi) with his best friend (Dussollier). Resnais takes it on its own terms but exquisitely so, with immaculate lighting and set design, traditional framing and editing (apart from two bravura semi-circular pans). Above all, he lets Azéma play it to the hilt. Delightful.


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