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aka - Woman is a Woman, A
France 1961
Directed by
Jean-Luc Godard
85 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Femme Est Une Femme, Une

Godard's third film and his first in colour is both an overly long homage to the big budget Cinemascope Hollywood musical and a fascinating deconstructive essay on the devices of film-making. Very much in the insouciant Nouvelle Vague fashion it also simultaneously reflects a distinctively realistic French attitude towards sexuality and the war between the sexes.

Godard's muse at the time (they married shortly after), Anna Karina, won Best Actress at Cannes for her performance as a nightclub stripper wanting to have a baby who tries to excite her boyfriend  (Jean-Claude Brialy) into action by flirting with his best friend (Jean-Paul Belmondo).

Une Femme Est Une Femme represents Godard at his most playful (in one of the film’s typically light-hearted touches, Belmondo's character is named Alfred Lubitsch) and this accessibility is responsible for its enduring presence in French cinema although credit must also go to cinematographer Raoul Coutard and composer Michel Legrand, both of them key architect of this high-water period in Godard's career. 




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