Film review: A Woman’s Life


A Woman’s Life is a French movie about a loyal wife and mother who is repeatedly betrayed and abandoned by the men in her life. Despite that she never looses her love for life. It is out in cinemas on 12 January 2018. 



The story

Normandy, 1819. Jeanne is a young woman full of childish dreams and innocence when she returns home after finishing her schooling in a convent.


She marries a local Viscount, Julien de Lamare, who soon reveals himself to be a miserly and unfaithful man. Little by little Jeanne’s illusions are stripped away.


The trailer


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The verdict

A Woman’s Life is a French movie released by Arrow Films and directed and written by award-winning Director Stéphane Brizé (The Measure of a Man, Mademoiselle Chambon). It was written before Director Stéphane Brizé’s last film, The Measure of a Man, and was being financed while the latter was being written and produced.


Although they ended up following one another, this project was born twenty years ago, after Florence Vignon, co-screenwriter of the film, introduced him to the novel by Guy de Maupassant, Une vie (translated from French as A Woman’s Life).  


The film won the prestigious FIPRESCI Award for Best Film in Competition at Venice Film Festival 2016 and was nominated for the Golden Lion.


Jeanne’s life might be based on a woman’s life in 1819 France but her feelings and aspirations are universal and evergreen. This is why this movie has been well received by the critics. I love French movies and despite the difficulty of understanding the language and the use of subtitles, the movie can be easily followed because it is poetic and slow. Surely women’s lives has improved since 1819 but women’s emotions and romantic aspirations are often still unheard and ignored. Women are naturally idealistic and positive, strong, affectionate and have an extreme trust in humanity. 

The visual representation of Jeanne’s life resembles some paintings by Ingres and the Impressionists



Pierre-Auguste Renoir, By the Seashore (1883). © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

It is a refreshing movie about women, a good one to start the new year. 


Certificate: 12A


Running Time: 119 Minutes



London Mums’ rating: 7/10 


A Woman’s Life is in UK cinemas 12th January 2018


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