A Man and a Woman

A review of A Man and a Woman by Rob Mason

A Man and a Woman

A Man and a Woman (French: Un homme et une femme) is a 1966 French film, written by Claude Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven, and directed by Lelouch. It is notable for its lush photography (Lelouch had a background in advertising photography), which features frequent segues between full colour, black-and-white, and sepia-toned shots, and for its memorable musical score by Francis Lai. The film had a total of 4,272,000 admissions in France and was the 6th highest grossing film of the year.
The film is about a man and a woman falling in love; Jean-Louis Duroc a well-known rally car driver and Anne Gauthier (Anouk Aimee) meet each other when they drop their children off at Deauville boarding school outside of Paris after a weekend with their respective parents. However, Jean-louis and Anne are also widowers and the memories of their previous marriages tend to intrude upon their current situation, perhaps more in Anne’s case than with Jean-Loius.  This raises the question; can a memory remain stronger than a real-life situation? The answer is, to some extent yes but a memory continues to fade with time, whereas events in the current situation are far more vivid and real.
Jean-Louis is a rally driver in the film so it follows that cars are featured, particularly the ‘Ford Mustang,’ which just happened to be one of Fords’ most popular cars (Mustang sales passed the one million mark in March of 1966). 
The film succeeds in the way it captures an emotional tone or mood.  This has been achieved by the performance of the actors and the memorable musical score by Francis Lai and the use of great camera work by Claude Lelouche. All These features combine to produce a build-up of feeling that that leaves the audience feeling themselves in a state of quiet ecstacy.



There are English subtitles for the French dialogue.

The Cast
"A MAN AND A WOMAN" ("UN HOMME ET UNE FEMME"), screenplay and direction by Claude Lelouch; distributed by United Artists.. Running time: 102 minutes.
Anne Gauthier . . . . . Anouk Aimee
Jean-Louis Duroc . . . .Jean-Louis Trintignant
Pierre Gauthier . . . . . Pierre Barouh
Valerie Duroc . . . . . Valerie Lagrange
Head Mistress . . . . . Simone Paris
Antoine Duroc . . . . . Antoine Sire
Francois Gauthier . . . . . Souad Amidou