Saturday, January 12, 2008

Stolen Kisses


Baisers volés; Comedy, France, 1968; D: François Truffaut, S: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Delhine Seyrig, Claude Jade, Michael Lonsdale, Harry-Max, André Falcon

Antoine Doinel voluntarily enlists into army, but gets thrown out. He goes to Paris to look for a job and finds one thanks to a recommendation of a friend. It's the job of a hotel receptionist, but he gets fired when a detective storms into a room in order to reveal an affair. Antoine quickly employs himself as an detective, but doesn't have success in surveillance. Thus he accepts the strange job by the rich Mr. Taber, a shoe salesman, who wants to discover why nobody loves him. By "researching", Antoine starts a short affair with Taber's wife, and later on even with Christine.

"Stolen Kisses", the 3rd film in which director Francois Truffaut once again enlisted the character of Antoine Doinel who is once again played by Jean-Pierre Leaud, is a neat a charmingly sweet little film. This time Doinel stumbled into the comedy genre, but the movie is due to dispersion of characters, pointless story and too light tone weaker than the first one he appeared in. Still, the exposition is very amusing: Doinel gets released from the army and his colleagues, who don't even have the right to go to the toilet before 6 PM, yell and cheer behind his back: "Piss for us, Doinel!" The hero works as a receptionist in a hotel when suddenly a detective storms in with a client and demands entrance into a room - Doinel decides to go along and discovers the wife of the client having an affair, which causes the "angry" husband to tamely start ripping her underwear apart, but the detective advises him to act "tougher" and "break a vase". The potentially best part of the film, the romantic flair involving Christine, was sadly reduced to the minimum and became rudimentary, yet the film is still very pleasant ode to joie de vivre and was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe as best foreign language film.

Grade:++

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