The first half is really rather irresistible, with period Paris lovingly recreated and Jeanne Moreau not afraid to present Mata Hari as a bourgeois homebody in between her bouts of glamorous slinkiness. Tongue at least partly in cheek, she is insidiously funny, not least while performing an idiotic Oriental dance in which the finger movements transmit a coded message. Then love raises its head (after some delightfully outrageous vamping): a drearily routine affair in which she and Trintignant are even subjected to the TV ad indignity of a rapturous romp in the country; and as the film founders, it becomes increasingly apparent that Richard's plodding direction has no way of keeping up with Truffaut's script.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Jean-Louis Richard, François Truffaut|