CLAUDE DE GIVRAY
TRAILERS & CLIPS
The adventures of Antoine Doinel continues with Bed and Board, the fourth film of the series (if you count 1962 short film “Antoine & Collette”), and a vast improvement to the patchy Stolen Kisses.
Jean-Pierre Leaud returns as Antoine, who is now happily married to Christine (Claude Jade). He works as a florist, while Christine gives violin lessons from their apartment. It does not take long for Christine to fall pregnant, and she gives birth to a bouncing baby boy. However, Antoine’s affair with Japanese tourist Kyoto (Hiroko Berghaurer) threatens to tear his marriage apart.
Whilst The 400 Blows looked at adolescence, and Stolen Kisses looked at love, Bed and Board focuses on marriage, and whilst doing so takes on a much more realistic slant on the trials and pitfalls of relationships compared to the previous film. The disintegration of Antoine’s and Christine’s relationship does make for sad viewing, but there are also laughs to be had, especially during the scenes set within their madhouse apartment complex.
The script is much sharper, and Francois Truffaut’s direction is much more focused, with the performances the better for it. Jean-Pierre Leaud gives an enjoyable turn as a man who just cannot grow up. His Antoine can prove to be a frustrating character to watch, mainly because his need to be surrounded by chaos and his stubborn immaturity often leads to poor decisions which hurts those around him.
The main character who takes the brunt of Antoine’s selfish actions is of course his wife Christine, played heartbreakingly well by Claude Jade.
There are numerous scenes reminiscent of previous Doinel films, the most notable being a kiss shared between Antoine and Christine in a wine cellar ala Stolen Kisses, and Antoine roaming the streets of Paris at night brings back memories of The 400 Blows.
Bed and Board is a charming, pleasant and touching film, and the best sequel of the series.