As much as anything, it's probably the intriguing ambivalence of a narrative in which connections are never overtly made that turned this into an unexpected box-office hit. Where A Girl from Lorraine treads a clearcut feminist path, The Lacemaker lurks in more shady byways. Its heroine (beautifully played by Huppert as a passive object) seems less a candidate for women's lib than a helpless prisoner of the incommunicability Goretta had in mind when he defined the film as being about the problem between two people 'who are unable to love each other because they do not express themselves in the same way'. The refreshing quality of the film, as one listens to the expressive eloquence of its silences, is that it cannot be reduced to ideological terms. The heroine may be a victim of both social convention and a suave though sympathetic seducer, but with a mysterious inner radiance glowing behind her patient suffering, she is also much, much more.