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Married Woman, A

Cohen Film Collection // Unrated // May 24, 2016
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted May 27, 2016 | E-mail the Author


http-equiv="content-type">
A Married Woman Blu-ray Review


A Married Woman (style="">Une
Femme Mariee) (1964) is a film by acclaimed filmmaker Jean Luc
Godard (Breathless). The film stars Macha Meril
(Belle de Jour) as Charlotte, a young
woman who is torn between choosing between her husband Pierre (Philippe
Leroy)
and her lover Robert (Bernard Noel).


Charlotte is a
young woman living in Paris with her husband and son. She spends much
of her
time reading hip fashion magazines. Philippe Leroy (La
Femme Nikita
) stars as her husband, Pierre. Bernard Noel (style="">The Fire Within) stars as Robert, Charlotte's
lover.


A Married Woman isn't
story driven as much as it is idea-driven.
Godard is famous for being a filmmaker who disregarded standards of
traditional
filmmaking. It was one of the core elements of his style which helped
to make
him a prominent figure in the French New Wave. It was even this
determination
to make films in a different style to anything else (without following
classical storytelling) which caused a rift in his friendship to fellow
New
Wave filmmaker, Truffaut (who believed in the merits of classic
storytelling).


Jean Luc Godard's
films tend to feel like a perfect example of style over substance but
that
doesn't mean he doesn't try to tackle bigger ideas. The issue is that
those
ideas are usually explored in abstracts and aren't strung together with
a
decent story. A Married Woman certainly
suffers from its altogether poor characterizations and weak
storytelling. The
film feels less like a film and more like an essay (or even a series of
essays). The film explores ideas which must have been important to
Godard at
the time but each exploration feels like an abstract of a written essay
on the
topics of superficiality, ego, consumer-culture, and even surprising
(and
poorly-handled) commentary on the holocaust.


Godard's film
doesn't contain genuine characters. Each of the characters in the film
seems to
be superficial and barely explored. Instead, it merely is a film which
exists
to explore themes and ideas. A Married
Woman
also does so while trying to remain as unique in style as any
of the other
Godard films. Stylistically, A Married
Woman
is a unique and different creation but it doesn't excel at
being
either entertaining or thought provoking just by its uniqueness.


The cinematography
by Raoul Coutard (Breathless, Jules and Jim)
is one of the few strengths
of the film. Coutard was one of the great cinematographers of the
French New
Wave. This film is certainly one with excellent black and white
photography. The
production design is by Henri Nogaret and seems reasonably impressive.


Jean Luc Godard (Breathless,
Band of Outsiders) is certainly an auteur filmmaker.
However, his
films are often frustratingly abstract and lacking in good
storytelling. It's
part of his style. While some of his efforts have impressed me most
seem too
cold in their filmmaking approach. This effort is one of the weaker
Godard
films I have seen. Godard seems more interested in stylish framing and
exploring ideas than in telling a good story. While it's certainly not
as
terrible as later filmmaking efforts like Goodbye
to Language 3D
it's not on par with some of his better early works.
A Married Woman is a disappointing early
work by Godard which suggests the essay-like filmmaking direction he
would
explore more later in his career.  style=""> 


The Blu-ray:


style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" align="center">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


Video:


A Married Woman is
presented in a newly remastered version.
It is presented in black in white in the original 1.33:1 full frame
aspect
ratio with a 1080p MPEG-4 encoding. No DNR has been applied to the
video presentation.
This release has a natural filmic quality. This presentation is quite
good on a
technical level and should please fans of the film.


Audio:


The film is presented
with a lossless 24 bit Uncompressed PCM French mono audio. A
Married Woman
unfortunately sounds dated as it lacks a strong
lossless audio presentation. The fidelity could have certainly been
better.
Though the dialogue is easy enough to understand the sound quality is a
bit
harsh sounding and is not as pristine as one might hope for. Still,
this is a
decent audio presentation with a quality encode by Cohen Media Group. style=""> 
style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


Extras:


The release contains several supplements. Each
bonus
interview is subtitled in English and is presented in High Definition.
Inside
of the case, there is also a booklet featuring
a cast list, credits, and photographs from A
Married Woman
.


Interview with Macha
Meril
(32 min.) is the lengthiest
interview. It features the lead actress of A
Married Woman
as she discusses working with Godard on the film,
casting,
and the filmmaking process.


Interview with Antoine
de Baecque
features a conversation
with the author of Godard about the
film and the work of the filmmaker during the period of production on style="">A Married Woman.


Interview with Agnes
B.
(21 min.) features the actress
discussing her time spent working with Jean Luc Godard. She discusses
her
affection for his films and for the French New Wave.


Re-release Trailer


Original Theatrical Trailer


Final Thoughts:


A Married Woman is
not one of the best filmmaking efforts
of Jean Luc Godard. As with many other films by the filmmaker, it is
certainly
an effort which will mostly appeal to his longtime fans. For those who
consider
Godard hit-or-miss (or worse) this film isn't any better. As with many
of
Godard's later-period works, this is one which feels more like an essay
than a
film.


Fans of Godard's A
Married Woman
will be pleased with the
quality remastered presentation and may consider it a worthwhile
release.


Everyone else: Skip
It.



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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