Exactly the kind of movie that seems most vital and vulnerable at this moment.
There could never be too many movies like this one.
French filmmaker Stéphane Brizé, director of last year’s working-class drama The Measure of a Man, which earned star Vincent Lindon the best actor award at Cannes, takes an unexpected turn to costume drama with this bold adaptation of a novel by Guy de Maupassant. Following the life and disillusionment of an aristocrat named Jeanne (Judith Chemla) from adolescence through unhappy marriage, Brizé’s film explores the inherently exploitative social dictates and moral codes of nineteenth-century marriage and family. Shot in the purposely constricting 4:3 aspect ratio, A Woman’s Life is a tightly composed, intricate work that avoids melodrama in its tender yet cutting portrayal of life’s indifferences, pressures, and disappointments. A Kino Lorber release.