We’ve all heard the old adage, “You should never meet your heroes.” If you’ve ever wondered why, director Michel Hazanavicius has a 107-minute answer. Hazanavicius biopic, Redoubtable, spends a year exploring the life of French director, Jean-Luc Godard. Redoubtable casts Godard in an unflattering light, exposing the legend to be as selfish, petty, and insecure as the rest of us.
The film explores the relationship between Godard (Louis Garrel) and his eventual wife, actress Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin). Wiazemsky was only a 19 at the time and it speaks volumes when a man that considers himself an intellectual chooses a wife with so little life experience (Godard was 37). He also despised actors, which only solidifies him as a walking contradiction. Godard often show’s passion but lacks conviction. There’s one telling scene set at a debate where Godard keeps changing up his rhetoric mid-rant, as though he were in an editing bay trying out different cuts of a film.
Redoubtable’s self-awareness fluctuates between cheeky and overbearing. Hazanavicius fills the film with winks, not so subtle nods, and in your face homages. In one scene, Godard and Wiazemsky have a cordial discussion but the conversation’s subtext appears below their dialogue — aspiring screenwriters take note.
I enjoyed actor Louis Garrel’s joyfully pedantic take on the French auteur. Godard comes off like Larry David in Curb, only more pretentious. Those unfamiliar with Godard and his work may not want to spend two hours following the plight of an apex-level asshole.
- Release Date: 9/13/2017 (France)