I disagree with the reviewer that there is a "detached" feeling about the film. I think Truffaut keeps the surface cool, yes, but this is more his way of story-telling than anything else. Beneath the simple exterior is a myriad of burning passion and Gallic fatalism. Think of the woman who throws herself out of the window for love and permanently cripples herself. One thinks of the waste, but also the terrible violence that passion can bring.
The Woman Next Door
Time Out saysFor all the period charm of his historical pieces - from Jules and Jim to The Last Métro - Truffaut increasingly looks more comfortable with contemporary domestic dramas drawn from the bourgeois milieu so successfully explored by Chabrol in the early '70s. In this context, The Woman Next Door recounts its tale of amour fou in a provincial town - Depardieu (plus wife and kid) moves in next door to a newly-married woman (Ardant) with whom he had an obsessional affair eight years earlier - with absolute narrative confidence. But as Truffaut steers his audience towards the tragic dénouement, the effect is a curiously passive experience, as if, like passengers on a bus tour, we are offered a scenic excursion without ever being driven to the precipice from which his protagonists will fall. A long way from Hitchcock (and Chabrol), but a consistently watchable sub-thriller none the less.