Stavisky…

Film

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Resnais' film about political destiny in France in the '30s is always thoroughly chilling, never merely elegant. The chill stems not simply from the cold precision of the images, but from the unshakeable implications of what he allows us to witness. On the one hand, and occupying centre stage, is Stavisky (Belmondo), swindler and entrepreneur; on the other, in the wings, is Trotsky, arriving in France, working, and finally exiled. Around them, sotto voce political machinations in which gradually and unmistakeably a grand design becomes visible - the breaking of the Left and the drift to Fascism. Stavisky's fall reveals him to be a pawn in a swindle of vaster dimensions than even he dreamed of, the fall itself a screen behind which other forces operate. Resnais conveys the atmosphere of moral degeneracy with a tact which makes it all the more insidious, through a film that is superbly paced.
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Release details

UK release:

1974

Duration:

117 mins

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frank correl

A most impressive treatment of a period that led to the fatal weakening of the French Third Republic with splendid performances, especially Jean-Paul Belmondo and Charles Boyer, superb photographic treatment and use of period venues, fashions, and a wonderful collection of automobiles. The method of flashbacks, -forwards and seeming diffusion of the Stavisky story along with Trotsky's presence in France takes a bit of getting used to while the film progresses but comes together brilliantly as it moves to its conclusion. The uncertainty whether Stavisky committed suicide or was helped along by officials, all of whom had something to hide and/or gain, is put forward in a low-key but most effective way. I would have liked a couple of shots of the rioting at the Place de la Concorde which almost led to a storming of the Chamber of Deputies but one can't have everything. A stunning two hours of cinematic genius, splendid acting and sets; a movie I shall long remember and hope to see again more than once.

frank correl

A most impressive treatment of a period that led to the fatal weakening of the French Third Republic with splendid performances, especially Jean-Paul Belmondo and Charles Boyer, superb photographic treatment and use of period venues, fashions, and a wonderful collection of automobiles. The method of flashbacks, -forwards and seeming diffusion of the Stavisky story along with Trotsky's presence in France takes a bit of getting used to while the film progresses but comes together brilliantly as it moves to its conclusion. The uncertainty whether Stavisky committed suicide or was helped along by officials, all of whom had something to hide and/or gain, is put forward in a low-key but most effective way. I would have liked a couple of shots of the rioting at the Place de la Concorde which almost led to a storming of the Chamber of Deputies but one can't have everything. A stunning two hours of cinematic genius, splendid acting and sets; a movie I shall long remember and hope to see again more than once.