In 1968 France is overcome with socialist ideas, the Cannes festival is about to be cancelled and Jean-Luc Godard, the greatest director of his time, falls in love with his new muse Anne Wiazemsky. But he is also in love with the idea of socialism. Can these two loves co-exist and what imprint will it make on his art?
Making a biopic, especially when the subject is still alive, is a difficult task. The real Jean-Luc Godard apparently said that “this movie is a stupid, stupid idea”. The producers put it on top of the movie poster as a tag line.
REDOUBTABLE is apparently shot the way Godard himself made movies (my film education will not allow me to pick on every nuance). The Oscar winning director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) creates the grim painting of civil unrest in France of 1968 with broad strokes, but at the same time focuses on people and their place in society. Filled with memorable details REDOUBTABLE is a very personal film, its characters’ emotions exposed and dissected without sinking into cheap melodrama. REDOUBTABLE is also a very funny film. In one of the scenes Godard and his wife, totally naked in their bedroom, are discussing the redundancy of nude scenes in modern cinema. Them being naked on screen is also redundant and does not serve any purpose, so it is like the characters are “breaking the fourth wall”, without actually addressing the audience directly, telling us how silly this naked scene is. Clever!
Soaking up the atmosphere of the era this is a film for movie buffs but it is also an intimate drama about a relationship, where strong feelings are just not enough to keep it afloat. Just like The Artist, REDOUBTABLE is about a man in creative crisis. It’s about the imprint that art has on society, and the gaping distance between the public perception of the artist and the real man.