- Actors: Philippe Marlaud, Marie Rivière, Anne-Laure Meury, Mathieu Carrière, Philippe Caroit
- Directors: Éric Rohmer
- Writers: Éric Rohmer
- Producers: Margaret Ménégoz
- Format: Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
- Language: French
- Subtitles: English
- Dubbed: French
- Region: All RegionsAll Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Fox Lorber
- Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
- Run Time: 104 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- ASIN: 1572525398
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #113,442 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
The Aviator's Wife (Version française)
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From the Back Cover
The first in Rohmer's Comedies and Proverbs series, The Aviator's Wife tells the delightful story of a young man's obsession with a slightly older woman. When he spies another man leaving her apartment one morning, he enlists the help of a young girl he meets in the park to spy on him. What follows is a hilarious comedy of romantic hopes, disappointments and the complications of love.
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But assuming the English title appropriate, and maybe it is, who is the aviator's wife? If you watch closely, you may come away wondering if the pilot is even married.
We should also dispel a couple of other notions in the various reviews. It is a French "talkie." I happen to like them. It's not completely accurate to say it is about an obsession with an older woman. There is obvious consideration of the younger one at a certain point. It's certainly inaccurate to say the younger one represents the real possibility if one watches all the way to the end, past the aborted letter drop. And by the way, look at that guy closely. He is not a stranger.
Anne does not agree with Lucie entirely that "women decide." It can't be said that these two women are educating Francois. It can't be said that he loses either of them, actually. Although, everyone who thinks they just must talk things through at the earliest opportunity would do well to see how he makes his life more difficult than it need be with this strategy.
I think the movie really is about Anne, the pilot's girlfriend, whose picture appears on the cover. She is the one who is despondent and ready to give up on relationships because she finds no one's feelings true and faithful. And there is one further intriguing argument for this view.
Eric Rohmer is noted for making cycles of movies... the comedies and proverbs, the four seasons, etc. In each cycle, the movies are not related per se, not like a series. But would it surprise anyone if this plotter of cycles hid a series among his cycles? If he did so blatantly, it would be uncharacteristic of the always enigmatic Rohmer. But what if he simply used the same actress, with a different character name, yet to represent the same character at different stages of life?
Marie Riviere (Anne in this movie) appears to be just such a character. As Delphine in "Summer" does she not begin where Anne leaves off, disenchanted with all relationships? Finally healed by the magical Green Ray, she re-incarnates as Isabel in "Autumn's Tale," as the master matchmaker peddling her happiness to others, even training an apprentiss of sorts. If you can view these three movies and not come to this conclusion, do drop me a note and set me straight.
Ah, but with the prospects ahead of a 15 year old detective who suggests murder, a magical green ray, and a master matchmaker, how can you resist all three?
You just see people chatting all the time !! No particular storey .. very boring movie .. It's good only for people with sleep disorder .. it will help you to sleep if you watch it for 10 minutes.
It is not about the Aviator, nor his wife. In the opening the Aviator dumps his younger mistress because his wife is pregnant and the mistress in turn spurns another younger man she's been seeing. This young man, Francois, happens to see the Aviator with his "love" and later, by chance, takes the opportunity to follow him. While tailing the Aviator who is with another woman, Francois meets a younger woman who helps him and in turn draws out the reason for his following the couple and ultimately his upset and confusion over the situation.
The humor and the irony in the movie is that both women, the mistress and the younger student, try to tell Francois the truth about women and love...but he will not hear it. Francois is so convinced of his own understanding of things (wrongly), that he cannot see the bright hope in front of him (the student) and the lost cause he is obsessing over (the mistress). Francois listens but doesn't hear.
And in the end, he gets a lesson, but does he learn?
A French movie all the way, for those that like them. 4-1/2 stars.
15 December 2003: It is always difficult to get overtly excited about an Eric Rohmer film or make any relative comparisons with conviction - Eric Rohmer's works are almost like Jazz music, delicate in their appeal and full of irony, yet not given to the charts. The Aviator's Wife, the 1st in Rohmer's series of Comedies & Proverbs is subtle like poetry by full of the irony of urban existence. Set in his hometown Paris (as most of his films are), this is a film about a young woman's insecurity about growing old lonely, and a young man's obsession with the slightly older woman. Artfully made with a color palette that seems to reflect the hues of the lives of the characters, the film is talkative yet reflective and insecure with a certain confidence.
• Mise-en-scene: The character's motivations are developed with painstaking detail in an attempt to build characters that we may grow to either love or loath, but irrespective respect as real people. I was drawn to the young man's character in particular and to his singularly obsessive personality even though he was gentle and carefree at first sight.
• The older woman was so typically stereo cast as idiosyncratic, intense and detached in a manner only the French can be. In the final scene one feel for the boy when he discovers that the young girl he meets on the bus has been feeding him all along, but before we have time to react, Rohmer makes a comic joke of the situation by spinning the movie into a loop so that we end up almost where we started, except that we've got a different man that the protagonist is trailing this time around.
• The Cinematography, is bland, almost dogma like (way before the birth of Dogma- this is 1981), and there is almost no emphasis at technique beyond functionality. Yet sound is used to haunting effect, with ambient sound playing a potent character. Whether this was because of poor on location sound or whether this has been used as a stylistic element to enhance the narrative is however difficult to tell.
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