Douce

1943

Drama

127
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 284

Synopsis


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January 28, 2021

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1007.36 MB
1280*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
90 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.83 GB
1920×1080
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
90 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 10 / 10 / 10

Patience and resignation/Impatience and rebellion.

*** SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** "Douce" is one of the absolute peaks of the French cinema during the Occupation.Sixty years later,its strength is still intact ,its beauty fascinating.Probably Claude Autant-Lara 's masterpiece,it's a work every movie buff must see,particularly the ones who love Max Ophuls's or Joseph L.Mankiewicz's esthetic refinement. Quintet could be another name for it because it deals with five characters,played by five equally brilliant actors.Meet them: -the countess of Bonaffé: an old noble,who has not forgotten 1789,and who wants to keep the world as it is:"do not give the Poor too beautiful things because they could dream of a luxury they will never be able to afford".She reigns in her luxury home over her servants whom she despises and humiliates.Marguerite Moreno portrays this dowager with authority. -Her son,a wash-out widower ,who lost a leg in the war of 1870 against the Prussians,a big defeat for France .And for the nobles,whose occupation has always been war ,particularly before the 1789 revolution,it's ultimate decay.Disenchanted,he's secretely in love with his daughter Douce's teacher Irène.Jean Debucourt plays this aristocrat with bonhomie and a certain naiveté. -Her granddaughter ,Douce: a romantic young girl.she's too young to understand .She's in love with the countess's ostler,Fabien.Odette Joyeux was one of Autant-Lara 's favorite actresses.She will also star in "Sylvie et le fantôme" and "le mariage de chiffon". -Douce's teacher,Irène .She was hired by the countess ,recommended by Fabien,because she's his lover.Madeleine Robinson really shines and is probably the stand-out of a stellar cast.She literally mesmerizes the audience. -And finally,Fabien,loved at once by an aristocrat and a common.He's a rebel,he 's got nothing but contempt for the countess and her world of privileges. It would take pages to depict all the richness of this work.The most famous scene remains "la visite aux pauvres"(paying a visit to the Poor):the countess bringing a tiny Xmas tree-which contrasts with the huge one in her hall- and a pot- au- feu (boiled beef with vegetables)to a needy couple:"patience and resignation" she tells to "comfort" them.Behind her back,Fabien mumbles "impatience and rebellion". The situation is a cul -de -sac:nothing is possible;the father's love for the teacher is a misalliance the countess would never agree with.As for Douce,she tries to escape her stifling milieu :she leaves home with Fabien ,but tragedy awaits round the corner. SPOILERSµµµµµµµµµSPOILERS The final pictures are astonishing:Irène and fabien are turned out by the countess on Xmas day;while they leave the house,which represents a crumbling and crepuscular world,more than ever,now that Douce is dead in a fire,you can hear a heavenly carol.END of Spoiler. It would be a crime to pass over Philippe Agostini's cinematography,which enhances the muffled atmosphere of the candlelit mansion.Under this veneer,so many frustrations,so much wickedness,rottenness everywhere.

Reviewed by raskimono 9 / 10 / 10

A Chekov like movie

This movie plays like a Chekov play. Unspoken emotions are amped to the top. Actions are performed without being revealed. And most importantly, nothing seems to happen. Plays can get away with nothing happening, but the milieu of cinema requires and demands action. This movie avoids it and manages to still work. By doing this, it takes the world of thirties to forties cinema where plot, story and action is king and introduces character as the harbinger of a movie to the big budget studio productions of France and thus the world. It is similar to the idea behind the French New Wave but Truffaut attacked this kind of movies and this director and particularly the writers of this movie, Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost, a legendary screen writing team as old farts or the old wave, thus the term the new wave. The dialog in this movie is literate almost bibliotequeish to say the least, and it does take its time to warm or move your heart. As I said, it cons you into believing nothing is happening while we are watching the destruction of an old world; one of aristocrats, barons and the meritocracy. It is 1887 and Douce the daughter of the Bonafe patriarch who also lives with her grandma, the Bonafe matriarch in a studio-set created house that seems to have yanked right out of one of Poe's tales. It is a character in itself in the movie. Light does not come from outside in this house. Only the artificial lighting of the cinematographer castigates the gloom. The patriarch wishes to marry the servant teacher Irene who is of poor class. But she is betrothed to another of working class. I know, you've read, heard and seen this plot many times before but not as expertly done as this movie. In fact, if you are a fan of Wong-Kong-Kwai, you should love this movie. It reminded me of In the mood for love. It has all the trademark pacing, irony and exotic direction of his movies. Odette Joyeux is very good but the standout is Marguerite Moreno as the matriarch. Watch it to see how an era disappears with fumes, death, anger and a carol.

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 9 / 10 / 10

DOUCE (Claude Autant-Lara, 1943) ***1/2

DOUCE – known in the English-speaking world under the blandly generic title of LOVE STORY but, obviously bearing no relation to either the 1944 British movie or the popular 1970 American romance – inaugurated Claude Autant-Lara's great period that would end 15 years later with EN CAS DE MALHEUR (1958; see my review above) and incorporated around a dozen films. Although I have been aware from the outset of the film's renown – via Leslie Halliwell's positive capsule review and its being selected by the "Movie" magazine (published in the 1980s) as a key film of 1943 – the review that made me really prick up my ears was the ***** one in the inestimable "Films De France" website which also goes so far as to declare it Lara's best. Ostensibly a period romance, what actually unfolds is a bleak portrayal of bourgeois hypocrisy that has few peers among its contemporaries: Lara's stylish direction makes brilliant use of tracking shots on studio sets to display the immediate surroundings of the mansion owned by the noble Parisian family whose life over the Christmas 1887 period we follow throughout the course of the movie. Clever scripting and sparkling dialogue (courtesy of the ubiquitous writing duo of Jean Aurenche-Pierre Bost) are highlighted in two outstanding sequences: the opening showing a solemn Christmas mass being 'interrupted' by the socially-sensitive confession of a mysterious lady whose identity (or that of whom she is speaking) we are not sure of until much later, and the wonderfully ironic Boxing Day sequence featuring the wealthy matriarch bestowing purposefully 'small' gifts on the paupers of her community flanked by her ostensibly blissful (but actually freshly broken-up) younger companions. To top it all, we have a handful of impeccable performances from a relatively unknown cast: Odette Joyeux (portraying the fated title character, hers is easily a career-best performance; in real-life, she was Mrs. Pierre Brasseur and mother of actor Claude), Madeleine Robinson (as Douce's maid/companion, she inadvertently is the catalyst for the surge of passions that eventually brings down the family who 'adopted' her), Marguerite Moreno (delightful as the archetypal cantankerous matriarch), Jean Debucourt (as Douce's one-legged father, movingly portraying his forbidden and unrequited love for the socially inferior Robinson) and Roger Pigaut (as the other rogue dependent of the family: he loves Robinson but, impatient of her stalling and jealous of Debucourt's attentions, turns to Douce instead who, on her part, willfully gives in to her precocious impulses). The ending, then, is at once tragic and paradoxical: runaway couple Joyeux and Pigaut decide they are not made for each other after all but, while fully intent on returning into the folds of her family, Douce expires in a fire at a theater…and the original, socially acceptable couple of Robinson-Pigaut are subsequently reunited in their being simultaneously expelled from the mourning household!

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