Starring: Anouk Aimée, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pierre Barouh
Director: Claude Lelouch
Running Time: 102 mins
A Man And A Woman (Un homme et une femme) is a French film about a man and a woman who share a car ride together, and, over the course of a few more meetings, begin to grow close, and explore one another’s backgrounds.
The French New Wave is always a journey into the unknown. No matter how familiar you are with the tropes and clichés of the movement, it always has a way to surprise you, and A Man And A Woman is no different. While not an all-time classic, the film is an enchanting blend of comedy and drama, complete with heartfelt emotional depth and effortless style throughout.
There’s a lot that makes A Man And A Woman such an enjoyable watch, but there’s no looking past the wonderful lead performances by Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant. The film does exactly what it says on the tin, telling the story of both, from their personal lives to their captivating romance.
Both Aimée and Trintignant are effortlessly lovable from the moment they arrive on screen, and are a far cry from the typically jaded or off-kilter heroes and heroines of many French New Wave films. They’re both fantastically normal people who, despite having a few exciting exploits away from their relationship, are entirely relatable, and wonderful to spend time with.
The pair have effortless chemistry at every moment, and despite the barriers to their relationship that we see throughout the story, you really do wish them success together. They’re not an ‘unlikely pair’, but on the surface, their story is hardly that of a match made in heaven, much like a real-life romance.
And that’s why A Man And A Woman is both so lovable, and so surprising. It’s not a genre-breaking, bizarre French New Wave entry, but a film that takes the incredible style and charisma of the movement and applies it to a beautifully normal, down-to-earth story, and one that’s filled with humour and heart from start to finish. So, that’s why I’m giving A Man And A Woman a 7.6 overall.