1962 ***** 83 mins.

When the first frame of this intoxicating film came up, I was in love. One of my all-time favorite film directors is Belgian director Chantal Akerman. Her films Je, tu, il, elle and Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles are personal favorites of mine because they paint vivid portraits of a rich female character in a simple, yet poetic, way. Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre sa vie, to me, is the perfect film that Chantal Akerman never made. It's a tragic tale told in twelve tableaux. We are presented the sad life of a young woman named Nana. Through the twelve tableaux, we find out the facts of her tortured life and how they lead her to prostitution, and ultimately, to her untimely end. Jean-Luc Godard, the filmmaker, is never very far away, though, and very memorably reminds us that we are watching a movie. It's this double standard of the film, it's painful realism and lack thereof that make it such an unforgettable and special film experience. The musical theme of the film perfectly captures the mood and pulls you into the mind of the main character. The beautiful Anna Karina's (Godard's wife at the time) performance in the leading role is one of the best in film history. When I finished the film the first time, I just couldn't wait to watch it again. My quest for my perfect kind of film ends here. Thank you, Jean-Luc Godard.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Anna Karina + Saddy Rebbot + Andre Labarthe + G. Schlumberger + Gerard Hoffmann + Monique Messine + Paul Pavel + Dimitri Dineff + Peter Kassowitz + E. Schlumberger + Brice Parain + Henri Atal

Thought Out, Written, Shot, Edited, in sum, Directed by
Jean-Luc Godard

VIVRE SA VIE on The Criterion Collection

Motion Pictures