The Green Ray (1983)

Film, Drama
Le Rayon vert

Time Out says

The 100 best French films

Dir Eric Rohmer (Marie Rivière, Vincent Gauthier, Rosette, Béatrice Romand)

This film ranked #19 in Time Out's list of the 100 greatest French films. Click here to see the full list. 

 

It's July, and Delphine (Rivière), a young Parisian secretary, is suddenly at a loss regarding her holiday; a friend has just backed out of a trip to Greece, her other companions have boyfriends, and Delphine can't bear spending August in Paris. She also hopes to find a dream lover, but receives only the unwelcome attentions of pushy predators, until...

There's a whiff of fairytale to this particular slice of realism à la Rohmer, but what's perhaps most remarkable is that the film was almost completely improvised; though not so as you'd know it. It's as flawlessly constructed, shot and performed as ever, with one of France's greatest directors effortlessly evoking the morose moods of holidaying alone among crowds, and revelling in the particulars of place, weather and time of day. Deceptively simple, the film oozes honesty and spontaneity; the word, quite bluntly, is masterpiece.

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