“I want a baby in the next 24 hours.”
A woman (Anna Karina) desperate to become pregnant turns to an admirer (Jean-Paul Belmondo) for “help” when her partner (Jean-Claude Brialy) refuses to take her request seriously.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- French Films
- Godard Films
- Love Triangle
After the phenomenal success of his New Wave debut film Breathless in 1960, Jean-Luc Godard made what he considered to be his “first real film” — this playful yet frustrating character study-cum-musical which defiantly exploits cinematic conventions at every turn. A Woman is a Woman received mixed reviews upon its release, and continues to divide critics, with many finding it unduly wearisome and far too clever for its own good — indeed, Godard’s insistence (soon to be a trademark) on using random, often incongruous snippets of music, then cutting away to silence without warning, quickly becomes tedious, if not downright aggravating (particularly since the inimitable Michel Legrand composed the score — such as it is — here). Many other critics, however, acknowledge this as one of Godard’s most accessible and perversely likable films, a heady love note to Cinema and all its possibilities. Ultimately, A Woman is a Woman will not be for all tastes (as DVD Savant points out, the majority of non-cinephiles will give up on it after ten minutes), but it remains at the very least a watchable curiosity — thanks in large part to Godard’s many lingering, loving takes on Karina (his then-wife), whose expressive face is hard to resist.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Anna Karina as Angela
- A vibrant look at early 1960s Paris
- Michel Legrand’s musical score — though it’s unfortunately butchered to death
No, but fans of Godard and/or French New Wave cinema will certainly want to check it out. Listed as a film with Historical Importance in the back of Peary’s book.