A gentle comic love story based on a play by Alfred Adam. The setting is a castle, the central event is a birthday party, and the theatrical farce structure at times calls to mind Renoir’s La règle du jeu, an impression reinforced by the presence of that film’s poacher/manservant, Julien Carette, her promoted to majordomo. But Autant-Lara’s film is not a complex, bitter and strange film like Renoir’s, nor is it a masterpiece. It’s lightweight but poetic.
September 10, 2009