Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Film Renoir

We were in the mood form something light and happy, so we queued up Jean Renoir's 1956 Elena and Her Men. This bit of French froth features Ingrid Bergman as an impoverished Polish princess in Paris - if you'll excuse the alliteration. But she is more than the central character, she is the reason it exists.

Bergman is ready to marry a rich man to finance her lifestyle - and he really is a dear - but first she must rush out to see the general that everyone is talking about. Perhaps he will run for President and save the Republic! Then in the crowd, she meets a very nice young man, Mel Ferrer, who introduces her to the General, Jean Marais. Soon, everyone is in love with her, or planning to use her to induce the General to take the reins of power in France.

There isn't much of a plot, other than Bergman being lovely. She gives a daisy (marguerite) to the men who she favors, and if they keep this charm, they cannot fail in their endeavors. The politics are odd - basically, everyone wants Marais to take power as a right-wing strongman dictator, which Bergman as La Polonaise rather favors. But the moral is "The French are as good at love as they are bad at picking their leaders".

So, fun, sunny, and a treat for the eyes. Especially Bergman.

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