Michel Hazanavicius’ biopic of French cinema’s most notorious director, Jean-Luc Godard, is an audacious feat of multi-layered storytelling. Adapted from actor Anne Wiazemsky's autobiographical novel, Redoubtable portrays her marriage to Godard and its unravelling in the midst of his spectacular philosophical and artistic meltdown during the volatile moment of national protest in 1968. Hazanavicius demonstrates some serious directorial prowess by taking us on a journey that begins with a jaunty, lightly comedic tone, set at the outset of their marriage. There is an abundance of playful Godardian cinematic flourishes that hit the mark as both parody and loving tribute to the great innovator. But then the tone shifts to something darker and more emotive as Godard is caught up in the protest movement and follows a nihilistic path that sees him lose touch with his audience and reject his wife.
With outstanding production design that brilliantly conjures up 1968 France and eager, convincing performances from Louis Garrel as the hawkish, pompous Godard and Stacy Martin as the mesmerising, talented Wiazemsky, there is much to enjoy in this political, philosophical and biographical roller coaster.
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