Claude Lelouch – Les Misérables (1995)

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This is one of the greatest films ever made. Mark my words. History will bear me out.
Acclaimed French filmmaker Claude Lelouch, whose classic examinations of intimate emotions
include the Oscar-nominated “A Man and A Woman,” paints a sweeping portrait of the human
condition in his epic drama “Les Miserables,” a twentieth-century tale inspired by the
nineteenth-century masterpiece of French writer Victor Hugo. Lelouch’s “Les Miserables”
focuses on two French families who struggle, hope, suffer and ultimately find love and
friendship in the face of nearly insurmountable odds.
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Claude Lelouch – Un homme et une femme aka A Man and a Woman (1966)

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A man and a woman meet by accident on a Sunday evening at their childrens’ boarding school. Slowly they reveal themselves to each other, finding that each is a widow/widower. Each is slow to reveal anything personal so that each revelation is hidden by a misperception. They become friends, then close friends, and then she reveals that she can’t have a lover because, for her, her husband’s memory is still too strong. Much of the film is told wordlessly in action, or through hearing one of their thoughts as they go about their day.
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Claude Lelouch – Les Uns et les autres AKA Bolero: Dance of Life (1981)

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Synopsis :

Russian ballet dancer Tatiana (Rita Poelvoorde) loses a competition to become her school’s #1 ballerina, but marries Boris Itovich (Jorge Donn). The war blights their lives, but their son Sergei (Donn) eventually becomes a top dancer himself. Parisian music hall musicians Anne and Simon Meyer (Nicole Garcia and Robert Hossein) marry, only to be deported to a concentration camp. They cast their infant out to chance, and he grows up to be a lawyer (Hossein) who wonders where his son Patrick (Manuel Gélin) gets his musical ability. Big band leader Jack Glenn (James Caan) does USO duty while in the Army, but returns to his singer wife Suzan (Geraldine Chaplin). Their children Sara and Jason (Chaplin and Caan) become respectively a big pop singer and a film director. German piano virtuoso Karl Kremer (Daniel Olbrychski) plays for Hitler in 1938, which complicates his career as an orchestra conductor later in life. Evelyne (Evelyn Bouix) comes to a sorry end after taking many lovers in wartime Paris, including German officers; her daughter Edith (Bouix) returns to Paris and eventually tries a career in dancing. Somehow, the multiple threads of so many creative lives converge at a charity dance concert of Ravel’s Bolero at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Continue reading

Claude Lelouch – Vivre pour vivre AKA Live for Life (1967)

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The film won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Description: Robert Colomb, a famous TV newscaster, is married to Catherine, but is continually unfaithful. He is about to replace his current mistress, Mireille, with Jacqueline when he meets, and becomes fascinated with Candice. He takes her along on an assignment in Kenya and later establishes an “arrangement” with her in Amsterdam. When he tells Catherine about the affair, she is silent. He is assigned to Viet Nam, tells Candice their affair is over and, to his astonishment, discovers that is more than acceptable to her as she as tired of him. Returning from a Vietnamese prison he decides to return also to Catherine, but discovers she has made a new life for herself. He ponders whether he should break into her life again, rekindle their old love or just disappear from her life. While he is pondering, Catherine—a big hand for the little lady—makes the decision for this selfish and conceited ass. Written by Les Adams (IMDB). Continue reading

Claude Lelouch – …pour un maillot jaune AKA For a Yellow Jersey (1965)

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The 1965 Tour de France was won by a young Italian called Felice Gimondi, riding only as a late inclusion. The French had hoped that the winner would be Raymond Poulidor relieved for once of riding against Jacques Anquetil who had always beaten him. By the Chartreuse, however, Gimondi was unbeatable and even attacked Poulidor and left him behind “just to show Raymond that I could go faster and that I was the better man.” Continue reading

Claude Lelouch – L’Amour avec des si AKA In the Affirmative (1962)

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Synopsis
L’Amour avec des si is a road movie that follows a middle aged man who gives a young woman a lift. On the car radio, news bulletins warn the population against a recently escaped sadist who is known to prey on yong women. Lelouch often cuts away from the main story, if only briefly, to parallel events that are not necessarily crucial to the story but illustrate what is suggested by the radio. Continue reading