Jules and Jim

1962 "A Hymn to Life and Love"
7.7| 1h50m| NR| en
Details

In the carefree days before World War I, introverted Austrian author Jules strikes up a friendship with the exuberant Frenchman Jim. Both men fall for the impulsive and beautiful Catherine, but it's Jules who wins her hand. After the war, Jim visits Jules, Catherine and their daughter in their Austrian home and discovers not only that his feelings for Catherine are unchanged, but also that they're reciprocated.

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Les Films du Carrosse

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Also starring Henri Serre

Reviews

Actuakers One of my all time favorites.
SnoReptilePlenty Memorable, crazy movie
Forumrxes Yo, there's no way for me to review this film without saying, take your *insert ethnicity + "ass" here* to see this film,like now. You have to see it in order to know what you're really messing with.
Lollivan It's the kind of movie you'll want to see a second time with someone who hasn't seen it yet, to remember what it was like to watch it for the first time.
daviddax Beautiful but rather pointless French "nouvelle vague" (new wave) exercise. I was in high school when this film came out, and much was made of it by the critics. I never found Jeanne Moreau as beautiful as others did, but having seen this film today for the first time, I can say she looked terrific. Nevertheless I believe that her character was that of a spoiled, selfish, never-to-be-redeemed woman who can't have what she wants and ends up in the drink. As for the two protagonists, they were just plain immature and were never going to grow up. I hope that little Sabine grew up to be healthy. Sadly we saw nothing about her during the last part of the movie. What a waste of two hours. I'll take "Last Year in Marienbad" but not this tedious mess.
rhoda-9 Yes, Jules and Jim is a mesmerising, invigorating movie, full of life, love, happiness, sensuality, charm, and, not only that, it's French! But Truffaut's most famous film is not just ooh la la--it's an enormously sophisticated work, with a witty script and playful, daring camera work. In a way, it's THE film of the Sixties--a bit ahead of its time, for what we mean by "the Sixties" got going a few years later.But do I love it? No. Because the film also encapsulates, for me, what I so greatly disliked about the Sixties, the time in which I became an adult.The film was received with rapture, except by a few critics, including Dwight Macdonald and Stanley Kauffmann, who called it "less than meets the eye." They were denounced by Pauline Kael, queen of the hipsters, for being squares. And yet, today, who looks like the square--if by that one means someone insensitive and naive? Kael was normally clear-eyed, but, in her enthusiasm for the movie's spirit and technique, she bought a cynical fantasy, the one aimed at a young, educated, restless public.You see, in the Sixties the great thing to be was not intelligent or rich but "creative." I put it in quotes because the appearance of creativity often received the same adulation as the real thing. It was a time when the art scene started to go wild, when the business of covering yourself in paint, or whatever, and rolling on the floor was acclaimed. If you weren't genuinely creative, you had to get some way of faking it if you wanted to get respect, or laid. Women, of course, had an easy substitute for creativity. They could be selfish, capricious, inexplicably cruel or untrustworthy, and be acclaimed as their own great creation--marvelous, mysterious, incomprehensible WOMAN. (That is, of course, if they were good- looking; otherwise, someone who pulled these same stunts was just a nasty bitch.) This all happened before feminism, when it became fashionable for women to be serious, responsible grown-ups.So Catherine, in the movie, is WOMAN to the nines. But, even though she is very beautiful, she is still a nasty bitch. Surely a major aspect of WOMANliness is motherhood? Well, Catherine has a little girl who adores her, but she abandons the child for a lover (farewell scene not shown, and little girl never seen again in the movie--might it prejudice us against Catherine?). Then she abandons the lover when she is bored-- or thwarted. If she can't get her own way (even though the man is doing the right thing, or it's not his fault), someone has to pay for it.It is commonly said that suicide is an act of anger. This couldn't be more obvious in the case of Catherine, who, in the act of killing herself, drags an unwilling lover to his grave. Talk about wanting to have the last word! This is no starry Liebestod but petulance writ large.Jules and Jim may be based on a novel, but Truffaut's attraction to the material, as well as his recapitulating it twenty years later in The Woman Next Door, shows that the fantasy is very much his own. His immature, masochistic passion for this kind of woman was sad, but his presenting it to young, impressionable filmgoers as an enviable romance, with added culture (at one point they all read Goethe's Elective Affinities, also about a threesome) is wicked. The first thing about love is that it is UNselfish.
oOoBarracuda Jules (Oskar Werner), an introspective Austrian and Jim (Henri Serre) a confident Frenchman begin a friendship that defies understanding. What begins as an exchange and discourse over art develops into a bond that seems able to withstand anything, including fighting against each other in WWI. After the war has ended, the duo goes on sharing art and women with each other, until Jules falls in love with Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), a free-spirited woman with an unpredictable temperament, prone to emotional outbursts. Despite the easy-going inexperienced Jules being an odd fit for Catherine, he asks Jim not to chase Catherine, so he can have her love all to himself. Despite Jules' request, he invites Jim on many of the couple's outings and the trio spends most of their time together. Even after Catherine and Jules marry and have a child, Jim is invited to live in their home with them. Over time, an intimacy begins to develop between Jim and Catherine, which Jules is aware of. Instead of risking losing his friend or his marriage Jules allows the intimacy to blossom which creates a domino effect of emotions between the three of them. Life no longer is about what each wants individually, but rather what each other wants and expects and what kind of life they want the other to fulfill. The decision to allow the three-way relationship has enduring effects on all involved due to the complicated nature of the two men's love for Catherine, as well as their devotion to each other. Bonds will be tested, as Jules and Jim face another war, this time, off the battlefield."You said, "I love you," I said, "Wait." I was going to say, "Take me," you said, "Go away." Arguably the most memorable quote from Jules and Jim also acted as a heart-wrenching opening, conveying to the audience just how much of an emotional experience they were in for. As we are introduced to each character, Truffaut takes his deliberate time revealing what Jules and Jim mean to each other. It is Truffaut's prowess as a director that allows the audience to truly understand the depth of devotion that Jules and Jim share for each other. Without his labored efforts, the rest of the story would pass by unnoticed because this truly is a story about three people in love rather than a love triangle with each point seeking out the object of their affection. The story relies on the understanding that neither Jules, Jim, nor Catherine will seek to fulfill their own needs at the expense of each other. Technically, Truffaut showed mastery on only his third feature film. His use of freeze frames was fantastic and essential in allowing the audience to realize the profound effect on the emotional state of the men involved with Catherine, each "moved by a symbol they could not understand." Truffaut also uses the overlay technique a few times to great success, placing Catherine's face over a few scenes really driving home the idea that every thought or activity Jules and Jim ever took part in was driven by Catherine. In just three short years since his first feature, The 400 Blows--a masterpiece in its own right, Truffaut further revealed his mastery for capturing the complexity of human emotion like few others before him.Few films tackle the emotionally intense themes Jules and Jim take on. Truffaut delves into pain, the kind of pain that is caused by yearning in love. Love and lust is a theme constantly at the forefront of the film, as well, along with a precise distinction between the two. Jules, lacking the romantic experience of Jim, attempts to shield Catherine from Jim for fear that he will only lust after her. When it becomes clear that Jim actually loves Catherine, as Jules does, he relents and decides to share his love of Catherine with Jim. Jules loves Catherine and shares a devotion to Jim, so he supports a union between Jim and Catherine because he needs to be a part of each's life and wants happiness for all parties involved, and vice-versa for Catherine and Jim. Devotion, like I have never since seen replicated on screen, is the driving force behind each character's actions and thoughts. The way Truffaut managed to capture that devoted motivation shows impeccable insight to the human spirit and cements him as the purest most personal filmmaker I have ever seen. Running the gamut of emotional commentary, Truffaut also successfully illustrates loneliness, especially experienced by Catherine, and its power over life. Catherine is clearly a damaged soul, she has met and overcome many obstacles in her life, most of which, are only alluded to. There are aspects of both Jules and Jim that she depends on for her very survival, necessitating that they both remain in her life. Catherine has been unable to commit to another due to her expectation of being abandoned, as only hinted to in a couple of scenes between her and Jules. It is this damage that makes her reckless and prompts Jules and Jim to be more cautious in their interactions with her. To be able to show every unlikeable aspect of a human being, yet, still endear that person in the hearts of the audience was a skill no one in the history of cinema has been more proficient at than Francois Truffaut. By the film's conclusion, we may not have that ending that leaves each better off and happy, but what we do get is the realization that we're all in search of our statue; that one person that is perfect to us and for us despite their obvious flaws, just as Jules and Jim traversed gardens in search of their statues before they happened upon the same one, and once we find that statue, we will do whatever it takes to keep it in our view.
morrison-dylan-fan After spending April watching 30 Czech films from the Cold War era,I decided that for the next 100 days I would watch 100 French films.With April coming to the end,I started searching round for the Criterion edition of Jules & Jim,but I soon realised that I had forgotten where I've put the disc! Franticly looking round,I was happy to discover that Artificial Eye have also put a DVD version of the title out,which luckily gave me the chance to meet Jules and Jim.The plot-1912:France:Being on his own after moving from Austria to France, Jules is delighted to meet Jim,who shares Jules bohemian outlook on life.Spending time with each other,Jules and Jim begin to bond over the arts and poetry. Taking things only to a "no-strings" level with women,Jim and Jules both cross paths with a mysterious girl called Catherine,who they both fall in love with. Aware of their shared love for Catherine,Julies and Jim try to keep their friendship alive,as WWI breaks out. View on the film:Warmly welcoming Jules & Jim, Artificial Eye give the title a sharp transfer,which smoothly catches the lightning shots,and also keeps the dialogue crisp. Breezing in from Marie Dubois's wonderful mile a minute performance as Thérèse,the gorgeous Jeanne Moreau gives a marvellous performance as Catherine. Entwining Jules and Jim with a magnetic smile, Moreau strikes a precise balance of keeping Catherine's alluring charms alight whilst making her frivolous outlook more brittle.Working in Comedy clubs when he was cast, Henri Serre gives a superb performance as Jim.Swaggering around the opening brimming with confidence, Serre vividly peels away Jim's charisma to reveal a sincere friendship with Jules,and an inability to look away from the flames of his love for Catherine.Enter as an outsider, Oskar Werner gives a great performance as Jules,whose nervous stance tightens the bond of friendship he has with Jim,and also pulls Jules to the care- free grin of Catherine.Spanning the WWI period,co-writer/(along with Jean Gruault) director François Truffaut adaptation of Henri-Pierre Roché's novel places the passage of time firmly on the shoulders of the trio,with their care-free and bohemian outlooks struggling to survive the abrasive twists and turns that Catherine grinds Jim and Jules friendship with.Whilst there are some large areas of plot that get brushed away, (does no one care about the kid?!) Gruault and Truffaut treat the friendship between Jules and Jim with a brilliant level of care and affection,as Jules and Jim try to find ways to keep their connection,despite being well aware that they share a love for the same girl.Rolling out on a very low budget, (Moreau had to help fund the completion of production)director Truffaut and cinematographer Raoul Coutard roll out the friendship between Jules,Jim and Catherine in a dazzling,ultra-stylised shine. Soaking the screen in pure French New Wave with freeze frames and "masking", Truffaut elegantly explores the various stages of Jules and Jim's friendship,as the initial excitement around each other sets off whip-smart panning shots and slick screen wipes,which transforms into smoothly-hit tracking shots and ghostly overlapping images,as Jules,Jims and Catherine's friendship reaches breaking point.