Monday, May 01, 2017

Movie review - "Contempt" (1963) ** (aka Le Mepris)

Jean Luc Godard is given CinemaScope, colour and big stars - Jack Palance wasn't on the A list at this stage but he was a name and Brigitte Bardot was one of the biggest stars in the world. Not so big was Michel Piccoli, who pops up in all sorts of French movies. He's a writer hired by producer Palance to work on an adaptation of The Odyssey.

He's married to Bardot and the film tells the story of strains in their marriage. Not hard to see why - she's one of the hottest women of the planet and Piccoli is seriously out of her league. Instead of being grateful and taking what he can get, he whinges and worries. She runs off with Palance and both die in a car crash - because the bitch deserved it presumably, proving once again the Godard isn't that radical.

The music score is spectacular - one of the greatest I've ever heard, lush and moving. That carries the film for a long way.

There's an opening shot of Bardot lounging naked in the dark as Piccoli talks to her arse and she collapses out of a few towels. The colour is gorgeous as are the island locations. And Godard is always worth watching for directors because he jazzes things up. But it got on my nerves and dragged.

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