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aka - Jules Et Jim
France 1961
Directed by
Francois Truffaut
105 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Jules And Jim

Faithfully adapted from a novel by Henri-Pierre Roche, Jules et Jim tells the story, beginning at the turn of the 20th century, of two young men, Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) who are caught in an open relationship with their common love, Catherine (Jeanne Moreau). Decades elapse although rather misleadingly no-one ever looks, nor for that matter behaves, any older than at the outset with Truffaut lightly sketching in the happy-unhappy relationships that develop without really engaging with them.

The voice-over narration deprives the film of intensity but the main problem with it is that Catherine is hardly a compelling enough character to provide any justification for why these admittedly rather bland chaps would maintain such dogged devotion as she shifts her affections from one to the other, even casting her spell over a third suitor who is willing to go along with her fickleness. It is one of Moreau's most iconic roles but this is principally because the script and Truffaut's playful directing make her the centre of our attention rather than because of anything that she does to win it.

Notwithstanding Jules et Jim is one of Truffaut's better films and a Nouvelle Vague classic. 




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