Les Nuits de la pleine lune (1984)
aka: Full Moon in Paris
A film directed by Eric Rohmer

Genre: Drama / Romance


Les Nuits de la pleine lune photo
Trainee designer Louise lives with her boyfriend, Rémi, in the outskirts of Paris. Whilst Rémi wants to get married, Louise is reluctant to let go of her freedom, and so she starts to spend part of her time in her apartment in the centre of Paris, believing this will strengthen their relationship. Things do not go quite as planned, however. Bored with her new solitary life in Paris, Louise sees more of her writer friend, Octave, and starts to flirt with a young musician, Bastien...
© filmsdefrance.com 2012

Film Review

He who has two women loses his soul. He who has two houses loses his mind. This is the proverb around which the fourth film in Eric Rohmer's series of Comédies et proverbes is based. As in the other films in this series, Les Nuits de la pleine lune is largely concerned with a young woman who has an excessively idealistic notion about love which sends her in an unexpected direction. Here, that woman is one of Rohmer's most sophisticated and complex heroines, played with an unusual mix of sensuality and sensitivity by Pascale Ogier (the daughter of Bulle Ogier).

The film also features a pleasing performance from Fabrice Luchini, whose unceasing intellectual ruminations provide much of the film's comedy. His on-screen rival is played by Christian Vadim, who is perhaps (unfairly) best known as the love child of Catherine Deneuve and director Roger Vadim.

Compared with most of Rohmer's other films, certainly those in the Comédies et proverbes series, Les Nuits de la pleine lune is a melancholic work, shot with an almost Bresson-like austerity. The film is punctuated by long pauses of silence as the heroine Louise reflects on her situation and decides on her next course of action, whilst the sombre photography (predominantly an ethereal blue) helps to create a mood of solemnity which emphasises Louise's isolation.

The film also has a supernatural dimension (i.e. references to the full moon influencing Louise's behaviour), which is a recurring feature of Rohmer's films. Here, this is perhaps intended merely to suggest that subconscious impulses rather than conscious thought is what is motivating Louise's actions. Maybe she moves into her new apartment in anticipation that her relationship with her boyfriend Rémi might be starting to fall apart?
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Film Credits

  • Director: Eric Rohmer
  • Script: Eric Rohmer
  • Photo: Renato Berta
  • Music: Jacno, Elli Medeiros
  • Cast: Pascale Ogier (Louise), Tchéky Karyo (Remi), Fabrice Luchini (Octave), Virginie Thévenet (Camille), Christian Vadim (Bastien), László Szabó (Painter at cafe), Lisa Garneri (Tina the babysitter), Mathieu Schiffman (Louise's decorator friend), Anne-Séverine Liotard (Marianne), Hervé Grandsart (Remi's friend Bertrand), Noël Coffman
  • Country: France
  • Language: French
  • Support: Color
  • Runtime: 102 min
  • Aka: Full Moon in Paris

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