Set in an abbey that serves as a retirement home for actors, rife with squabbles, jealousies and remembrances of past glory, to which a threat of closure adds waves of despairing self-pity, La Fin du Jour once rated highly as a biting depictment (like La Règle du Jeu though in a different key) of the decadence of France just before World War II. Despite its dark edges, it hasn't worn nearly so well as Renoir's masterpiece, with a complacently whimsical sentimentality constantly threatening to break through. The performances, though, are terrific: Jouvet as the suave ladykiller determined to maintain his image at all costs; Simon as the hopeless ham who lived out a marginal career as the eternal understudy; Francen as the classical artist too proud to court popular success and still regretting it.
La Fin du Jour
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Charles Spaak, Julien Duvivier|