BED & BOARD

Francois Truffaut’s fourth entry in his series about the adventures of immature young Antoine Doinel is perhaps the best in the series since it began (“The 400 Blows” in 1959). Jean-Pierre Leaud returns as Antoine, now married to sweetheart Christine (Claude Jade, again) and seeking employment while living a fairly bourgeois lifestyle; this is probably not what the youngster in the first film would’ve seen himself doing in the future. Antoine dyes flowers for a living while Christine teaches private violin lessons. When Christine becomes pregnant, Antoine gets a job (again, with help from family – and some blind luck). Whilst on the job, Antoine meets the intriguing Japanese business associate Kyoko (Mademoiselle Hiroko), and they begin an affair based more, I think, on Antoine’s interest in another culture than in another woman. Christine and Antoine separate, but Antoine still loves her. Will all end well? With this late effort, Truffaut is really finding a rhythm for his character and their films; the film is funny, bittersweet at times, dramatic at others, and occasionally whimsical. Leaud continues to prove that he can be a good actor in the right hands, and Jade is (despite his choices sometimes) Antoine’s soul mate. A delightful work.

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