6.5/10
685
4 user 3 critic

Womanlight (1979)

Clair de femme (original title)
Two strangers help each other survive a night of great loss.

Director:

Costa-Gavras

Writers:

Costa-Gavras, Romain Gary (novel)
Reviews
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yves Montand ... Michel Follin
Romy Schneider ... Lydia Tovalski
Romolo Valli ... Galba
Lila Kedrova ... Sonia Tovalski
Heinz Bennent ... Georges
Roberto Benigni ... Le barman du Clapsy's
Dieter Schidor Dieter Schidor ... Sven Svensson
Catherine Allégret ... La prostituée
François Perrot ... Alain
Daniel Mesguich ... Commissaire Curbec
Gabriel Jabbour Gabriel Jabbour ... Sacha
Hans Verner Hans Verner ... Klaus, l'ambassadeur
Jean-Claude Bouillaud Jean-Claude Bouillaud ... Le pilote de ligne
Eliane Borras Eliane Borras
Gabriel Dussurget Gabriel Dussurget ... Le directeur des théâtres lyriques
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Storyline

Reciprocal consolation. The background of two middle-aged people (Michel and Lydia) is gradually unfolded. Michel's wife is incurably ill. They had agreed that she would take her life on this day. All telephone cables were cut and Michel should leave France for months. But he goes forth and back between the airport and his home street. Once when opening the door of a taxi he destroys Lydia's shopping carrier. They sit down in a café while he writes her a check. During this night they will part and meet again several times. Half a year ago Lydia's husband had a car accident. Their daughter died and the husband got brain injury. His talk is incomprehensible. Tonight is his birthday. Lydia eventually takes Michel to the great feast that is almost over. In the morning they go to Michel's apartment, where police and relatives are already present. Michel and Lydia had agreed to meet at Lydia's apartment on the next morning. When he comes there, a foreign woman invites him in. Lydia soon ... Written by Max Scharnberg, Stockholm, Sweden

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995) See more »

User Reviews

 
Crushing nostalgia from people trying to keep afloat
8 May 2010 | by mcsawleySee all my reviews

These people are drowning in their own distress and try to hold on to something; there are many scenes in which you see the external world still rotating, and they try to keep swimming by pretending. The absurdity is the striking part, as if there were two communications going on. Excellent dialogs "Irreverence is one way to keep misfortune away". Good acting, Montand/Schneider are credible, Valli grandiose.

Great moment of cinema: the dancing monkey and pink dogs are my favourites, and one good scene to remind give stimulus to get out and have a great breath of fresh air.

As soon as one realizes that Romain Gary wrote the original book (Frank did only the adapted scenario) , it all pieces together. Gary was Russian/Latvian migrant, and transcribes here the crushing nostalgia typical of the Slaves who have lost their country and feel eternal sorrow for this loss; they however keep going, because this is what life is about; most of the times pretending things are OK but choosing a few occasions to show up their deep feelings.


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Details

Country:

France | Italy | West Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

29 August 1979 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Womanlight See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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