Loulou (1980)

Loulou (1980)

“I like it that he’s always available.”

An unhappily married woman (Isabelle Huppert) has an affair with and becomes pregnant by an unemployed man (Gerard Depardieu) she meets at a nightclub, but continues to visit her husband (Guy Marchand) on the side.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Cross-Class Romance
  • French Films
  • Gerard Depardieu Films
  • Isabelle Huppert Films
  • Love Triangle
  • Marital Problems
  • Sexuality

Director Maurice Pialat made numerous shorts before branching out into feature films, two of which are listed in Peary’s GFTFF: A Nos Amours (1983) and this earlier film about an unhappily married bourgeois woman seeking joy and sexual satisfaction from someone much more spontaneous and earthy than her husband.

Unfortunately, while the leads all give vibrant and nuanced performances, there isn’t much of a storyline to hang on to: we’re never clear whether Huppert is simply willing to put up with Depardieu’s criminal/lower-class lifestyle in exchange for their sex, or actually finds some kind of vicarious thrill from it herself.

Meanwhile, seeing Marchand abusing Huppert in the very first scene makes it hard to feel much sympathy for him at all.

Pialat’s films were purportedly somewhat autobiographical in nature (A Nos Amours similarly depicts familial dysfunction and escape through sex), so authenticity shines through — but to what end?

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Fine performances from the leads

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a fan of Pialat’s work.

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)


One thought on “Loulou (1980)

  1. First viewing (1/22/21). Skip it.

    It’s pointless, goes nowhere interesting (until its narrative at one point cheats and baffles), has no conclusion. Inexplicably, it was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

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