Home Pge, Site Index, Search, Help

‘Melo’ (NR)

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
May 13, 1988

"Melo," Alain Resnais' 1986 release, has affinities with Eric Rohmer's "Comedies and Proverbs," a French talky trilogy about affairs of the heart.

These movies are visually static because the emphasis is on ideas --

the characters mostly talk out their problems. "Melo" is Resnais' third collaboration with the same cast. And the subject, again, is love; specifically extramarital love and related questions of honesty.

Based on a Henry Bergstein play from the '20s, the film is deliberately stagey with art deco designs and fake night skies. Marcel (André Dussollier) is a virtuoso violinist tormented by past love affairs. He's a victim of dishonesty, he feels. Lamenting about this over dinner with his friend Pierre (Pierre Arditi) and Pierre's wife Romaine (a nice bit of lettuce called Sabine Azema), Marcel unknowingly attracts Romaine. And when Pierre confronts Marcel many tragic years later, Marcel finds himself facing his own criticism.

French New Waver Resnais, the maker of the groundbreaking "Hiroshima Mon Amour," "Last Year at Marienbad" and "Providence," may not have made his most brilliant film but there's something about "Melo's" tragic romance that keeps you in a spell -- the spell of being in love yourself.

Copyright The Washington Post

Back to the top

Home Page, Site Index, Search, Help