Whilst many of Truffaut’s works are well-known, others have faded from memory over the passing of time. Artificial Eye, starting with his first film 400 Blows, are releasing a whole raft of the French director’s work on Blu-ray in the UK for the first time. Anne and Muriel and A Gorgeous Kid Like Me are two very different films in many ways. Nevertheless, there are many familiarities.
A Gorgeous Girl Like Me
Preparing his sociological thesis, Stanislas (André Dussollier) visits prison to interview Camille (Bernadette Lafont), an infamous murderer. As she recounts the story of her life and love affairs, he quickly falls under her spell. She protests her innocence. He’s taken in by her manipulation and sets-about trying to prove her innocence.
A Gorgeous Girl Like Me is in many ways a departure for Truffaut. With echoes of Tati, the humour often verges on the slapstick side. It’s one of his weaker films in all honesty, but given his great skill and brilliance as a filmmaker, it’s still an entertaining comedy containing moments of pure genius.
Anne and Muriel
Claude, a young Parisian (Jean-Pierre Léaud), is introduced to a young Englishwoman called Anne (Kika Markham) by his overbearing mother. The pair quickly strike up a friendship and he’s invited to stay with her family in Wales. There he meets her sisters Muriel (Stacey Tendeter) and Ann plays matchmaker. When Claude falls in love with Muriel their mothers decide they should have a one year separation. If, after that they still want to wed, then so be it.
Ann and Muriel brings to mind the wonderful Jules et Jim. Shot in the same narrative style, the doomed love triangle bears many similarities to the masterpiece. Whilst it’s not quite on a par, it’s a beautiful film with an equally tragic ending.