Cinema: Wry Sigh

THE AVIATOR'S WIFE

Directed and Written by Eric Rohmer

The business of this intricately designed yet simply stated movie is to turn obsession into irony. This is always a useful enterprise. In life, it is the great antidote to insomnia; in movies, it is the alternative to melodrama and an excess of gunshots in the final reel.

In his heart François (Philippe Marlaud), the protagonist of Eric Rohmer's intelligently talkative movie, is every bit as bonkers over his lady as William Hurt is over Kathleen Turner in Body Heat. And Anne (Marie Rivière) is very possibly a greater pain to be with. Too self-absorbed...

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