La peau douce

After I returned home from work, I sat down to watch Truffaut’s “The Soft Skin” again.  Jean Desailly, the actor who played Pierre Lachenay, reminded me of Colin Firth.  Francoise Dorléac, who was Catherine Deneuve’s sister, played the stewardess Nicole.  She reminded me a bit of Elke Sommer.  Pierre’s attention foolishly strays from his wife to this girl. He is clumsy about adultery.  You have to go someplace where you’re left alone.  Pierre talks too much about Balzac, he misunderstands women, and he hesitates instead of acting promptly, all to his undoing.  He should have told the truth about where he was.  I don’t know why a man like him has a gun around, especially with a young daughter about.  He commits a blunder in telling Nicole to be quiet, and then asking her if she is angry with him.  He is careless, leaving the ticket for the film developing in his pocket.  A talkative young woman prevents him from making a critical telephone call at the right time. Women interfere with his plans intentionally and unintentionally.  Some people thought the ending was too melodramatic, even though it was based on something that Truffaut had read that actually happened.  I thought that perhaps a woman enraged would not have been so cool in handling a weapon, as if she was the assassin in “The Day of the Jackal.”  Pierre was one of those intellectuals who was out of touch with reality.  If he really knew what was going on, he would have seen that a future with Nicole was hopeless.  He never grew up when it came to dealing with women.  What kind of woman did he marry in the first place?  Franca checked up on him and was nosy.  She says that she’ll never forgive him for walking out on her, and then she asks forgiveness for slapping him.  A man cannot deal with a woman’s contradictions and inconsistencies.  Pierre made a mistake in not thinking about his daughter Sabine, who seems to disappear from the story aside from having to do her homework.  Critics were disappointed in this film because of what they expected from a follow-up to “Jules and Jim.”  You don’t getting carried away from watching “The Soft Skin.”  I rather liked it, however.  The sequence at the beginning, where Pierre is rushing to catch a plane, was quite interesting.  If he had missed the flight, the entire story of the movie wouldn’t have happened.  The main character was passive, unlike what we were accustomed to in Hollywood movies.  The movie on Blu-ray seemed better than it was on DVD.  I kept thinking that I didn’t really want a good look at the moles on Nicole’s body, however.  What I saw in Pierre’s face was a lot of suppressed emotion and frustration.  Fifteen years with Franca was tough on him mentally.  I haven’t seen “The Bride Wore Black” in years, and in light of seeing “The Soft Skin” again, I’d like to go back and see it.  I don’t know what happened to Jean Desailly after this film.  He worked into the 1990s, and he died at age 87 on June 11, 2008.  I heard that Bernard Fox of “Bewitched” had died at age 89.  His filmography included “Munster, Go Home!,” “The Rescuers,” and “Titanic.”  He was also in “Hogan’s Heroes.”  The reaction to the Oakland stadium proposal by the NFL was discouraging.  The bit of good news from the past two weeks was Bill King winning the Ford C. Frick Award.  It’s just too bad it didn’t happen while he was still alive.  He was 78 years old when he died in 2005.  Some of the people who died on December 15 include Jan Vermeer (1675), Sitting Bull (1890), Fats Waller (1943), Glenn Miller (1944), Charles Laughton (1962), Walt Disney (1966), Blake Edwards (2010), Christopher Hitchens (2011), and Joan Fontaine (2013).  Today is a birthday for Helen Slater (53), Don Johnson (67), and Tim Conway (83).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 15, “Gone with the Wind” had its premiere at Loew’s Grand Theatre in Atlanta in 1939.  In 1960, “Exodus” was released.  In 1995, “Jumanji,” starring Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst, was released.  Also in 1995, “Heat,” with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, was released.

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