(Review originally written at 28 April 2010)

It's hard to say why this movie works out so great and is such a good watch. It basically does very little wrong, which should be the reason why the movie as a whole is such a fine genre piece.

Max Ophüls was a director that did not just made some standard romantic drama's but ones that took a surprising approach. In this the woman is being torn between her life as a good wife and mother and that of being with the man that she truly passionately loves and had been with in the past. It does definitely show some parallels to some other Ophüls movies, most obviously of course "The Reckless Moment", that has a different set-up and approach but basically the same main premise. In both movies the female character is being unfaithful to her husband but yet the movie does not condemn her. Instead you still feel for and can understand the motivations and actions of the central character.

Everything in this movie just feels right; the story, the characters, the settings. I must say that both Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan (who are both still alive today by the way amazingly, being both in their 90's) give some of their best performances. Joan Fontaine has also hardly ever looked better before but I seem to say this about every movie I watch her in. She was just as pretty and talented as her older sister Olivia de Havilland (who is also still alive by the way).

It's a period piece as well, being set in the 1900's. Don't know why really these type of movies also decided to be set in the past but it was probably because of its more romantic and nostalgic like atmosphere of the past, when ladies were still ladies and gentleman were gentleman. It at least always often make the movie goods ones to watch as well, with some beautiful set pieces and costume design, as is the case with this movie as well.

A great movie within its genre.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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