Les Nuits de la pleine lune (1984)

aka: Full Moon in Paris
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

Film poster
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, who starred in a number of films by Rohmer's Nouvelle Vague contemporary Jacques Rivette, including Duelle (une quarantaine)).

The film also features a pleasing turn from the irrepressible Fabrice Luchini, whose unceasing intellectual ruminations provide much of the film's abundant comedy. The actor previously starred in Rohmer's Perceval le Gallois (1978) and would later take the lead in L'Arbre, le maire et la médiathèque (1993). Here, Luchini's 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 which has an almost Bresson-like minimalism to it. 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 (the dominant colour being 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?
The above article was written for filmsdefrance.com and should not be reproduced in any medium without the author's permission.


Les Nuits de la pleine lune was nominated for 5 Césars in the categories of: Best Actress (Pascale Ogier) [1985]; Best Director (Eric Rohmer) [1985]; Best Film (Eric Rohmer) [1985]; Best Original Screenplay (Eric Rohmer) [1985]; and Best Supporting Actor (Fabrice Luchini) [1985].

The film also won 1 Venice Film Festival award: Best Actress (Pascale Ogier) [1984].


The director Eric Rohmer also worked with the actor Fabrice Luchini on the film Perceval le Gallois (1978).

Film Credits

Related articles

2015 film releases

Read more about the French films to be released in 2015...

The Silent Era

Before the advent of sound France was a world leader in cinema. Find out more about this overlooked era.

The Golden Age

Discover the best French films of the 1930s, a decade of cinematic delights...

The Occupation Era

Even in the dark days of the Occupation, French cinema continued to impress with its artistry and diversity.

The New Wave

A wave of fresh talent in the late 1950s, early 1960s brought about a dramatic renaissance in French cinema, placing the auteur at the core of France's 7th art.