Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It means what it means

By Edward Copeland
I've always been lukewarm to the works of Jean-Luc Godard until I saw Band of Outsiders, when suddenly I started to warm to him. That feeling filled me again while seeing A Woman Is a Woman for the first time. To be quite honest, I have no idea what Godard is really trying to do here, but I don't care because the film is so undeniably infectious and entertaining, I can only say that I enjoyed it.

While the characters in A Woman Is a Woman repeatedly ask whether they are in a comedy or a tragedy, it's very clearly a comedy, nearly a musical comedy, albeit one in a bent Godardian way.

It's also very referrential, acknowledging other films of its early '60s time period. It even goes so far as to have one of its leads played by Jean-Paul Belmondo and has a scene where it's brought up that Breathless will be on TV that night, with nary a wink among the actors.

The other two-thirds of the film's pseudo-triangle are played by Anna Karina and Jean-Claude Brialy. The plot (as much as there is one) concerns Angela (Karina) and her wish to have a child, but the film isn't a story per se. It's just one strange but light nonsequitur after another.

It's colorful and charming and doesn't add up to much, though I still had a ball. It baffles me about how to describe it or review it. A woman may be a woman, but A Woman Is A Woman is what it is.

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Haven't seen this one yet, but my favorie Godard is My Life to Live, featuring a knockout performance by Karina.
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