Married Woman, A (1964)

Married Woman, A (1964)

“I love you, and maybe love is complicated.”

A self-absorbed young woman (Macha Méril) drifts between an affair with an actor (Bernard Noël), and married life with her pilot-husband (Philippe Leroy) and his son (Christophe Bourseiller).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • French Films
  • Infidelity
  • Jean-Luc Godard Films
  • Marital Problems

Despite there being very little substance to this stylized look at a shallow marriage threatened by infidelity, this film (Godard’s eighth feature) premiered to great acclaim and ended up as one of his most financially successful pictures. Méril — perhaps best recognized as the blonde psychic who is brutally murdered on stage near the beginning of Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975) — plays Charlotte, a beautiful but vapid woman who is overly concerned with her appearance and sexual appeal, as echoed in the media-saturated landscape she moves within.

She bounces back and forth between lovemaking sessions with her lover, Robert (Noël) — who is eager to have a child with her — and her husband, Pierre (Leroy), who’s had her followed by a private investigator; many of these scenes are comprised of various body parts, emphasizing the physicality and truncated nature of Charlotte’s daily existence.

Indeed, Charlotte’s life is so empty that she spends her time discussing tidying up the cupboards, measuring her bust, and wandering through department stores; occasionally we hear her inner musings, which consists of statements like, “The most important thing for me is to understand what’s happening to me.”

Yes, that’s pretty much what you get with this tiresome flick, which is visually pleasing (Raoul Coutard’s cinematography is top-notch as always) but otherwise a bore.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Raoul Coutard’s cinematography

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a Godard completist. Listed as a film with Historical Importance in the back of Peary’s book.


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