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memento_mori's Movie Reviews (203)

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Rules of the Game, The ( règle du jeu, La ) 
La folie, la folie.
4/4 stars

La règle du jeu could be the most multi-layered film I have ever seen. If you take it apart, line after line, you can see hints of just about everything hidden and masqueraded.

A wonderfully satirical view of the French bourgeoisie on the brim of the Second World War. It's the first French movie that I have grown to love and appreciate, because of its self-awareness.
Often, films like 'A bout de souffle' become very lost in their own little worlds. Plus, I hate it when every second shot in the movie is the Eiffel Tower.

In The Rules of the Game, this attitude is not only portrayed in such a light-hearted and witty manner, but celebrated and furthered through its excellent actors.
I couldn't decide which character I loved the most in this hilarious story of love, wealth, adultery and over the top direction and sets. Everyone was simply at the top of their game. Definite standouts include Marceau the poacher and Robert the wealthy husband.
For some reason, they are all in love with each other, which makes it all the more funny.
And with the almost carefree tone that this film provides from the start, the director makes it very easy for us to fall in love with these characters, as they fall in love with each other awkwardly as well.

Jean Renoir is a scene-stealer as the humble Octave, who coincidentally directed the film splendidly as well.
Even the subplots lead to a great finale. It's a remarkably well-written story if you think about, coated with eclectic dialogue as well as fast-paced performances and line reading so rapid, that it was hard to keep up with my minimal French.

If there is a movie that should bear the title 'Satire', then it is this one.
The Rules of the Game gives us amazing scene after amazing scene, filled with excellent direction and editing, hilarious performances, remarkable writing and a conclusion that will leave you wanting to either throw it out of the window or watch it again.


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