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Le Combat dans lîle (DVD Review)

20 Jun, 2010 By: Billy Gil

Street 6/22/10
$29.99 DVD
Not rated.
In French with English subtitles.
Stars Jean-Louis Trintignant, Romy Schneider.

This lesser-known film of the French New Wave cinema movement is an engaging, if somewhat typical, film very much of its era.

Anne (Romy Schneider) is the free-spirited, flirty and somewhat fickle 30ish wife of Clément (Jean-Louis Trintignant), who’s somewhat of the moody, jealous type. It goes without saying that the couple are impossibly stylish and attractive, and that when Anne gets a little boozy around strange men, Clément smacks her but then embraces her.

Kidding aside, the 1962 French film tropes of Le Combat dans l’île ultimately lend the film its most charming moments. The plot, in which Clément ends up being a right-wing extremist who must hide out in his friend Paul’s country home when an assassination attempt goes awry, is really more of an excuse for the film’s love triangle to ensue. Anne tries to leave controlling Clément but comes back just in time to get caught up in the drama and ultimately fall for Paul.

From there, it’s a whole lot of brooding, lounging on yachts, ennui followed by emotional outbursts, and plot twists that pull your attention back when the film veers off into luxurious scenes of bourgeoisie. Fans of foreign films that ooze cool should eat up Le Combat like a savory crepe.

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