Monday, 12 March 2012
My Night at Maud's 
My Night at Maud’s was billed by its director Eric Rohmer as the third entry in his acclaimed Six Moral Tales series, though, interestingly, it released after The Collector because of the unavailability of its lead actor at earlier dates. Considered as not just the best film of the series but also as one of Rohmer’s finest accomplishments, this beautifully composed movie is a witty and delightful take on such serious topics as religion, relationship, marriage and morality. Jean-Louis (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is a practicing Catholic who has made the conscious decision of leading a “moral” life; however, he’s not bereft of normal human impulses, and his ensuing moral dilemma comes to fore when he ends up spending a night at the apartment of Maud (Francoise Fabian), a beautiful and intelligent woman he’s meeting for the first time and who his friend Vidal is seeing. Meanwhile he’s in love with Francois (Marie-Christine Barrault), a lovely young lady and a fellow church goer, despite never having spoken to her. Consequently, though he experiences an instant attraction to the exceedingly alluring Maude, he’s torn between his impulses and his willingness to remain loyal to the girl he intends to marry. The film’s most memorable section was undoubtedly the philosophical discourse that Jean-Louis, Maude and Vidal have at Maude’s apartment (the starting point for which was the famous ‘Pascal’s Wager’), and which is continued between the self-righteous Jean-Louis and the liberal-minded Maude after Vidal leaves. Wonderfully photographed in lilting B/W, very well paced, and comprising of excellent and restrained performances, what made this a masterpiece and such sheer joy to watch for me was Rohmer's expression of such profundity with such simplicity.
Director: Eric Rohmer
Genre: Drama/Romantic Drama/Comedy of Manners