Rendezvous in August: Discovering Jacques Becker

Édouard et Caroline

Jacques Becker


Transpiring over a single night, Becker's delicious screwball comedy offers biting insight into class relations in its portrait of the rocky marriage between bohemian pianist Édouard (Daniel Gélin) and Caroline (Anne Vernon, who would go on to play Catherine Deneuve's scheming mother in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), scion of a wealthy aristocratic family. Preparing for a dinner party at the opulent home of Caroline's condescending oncle, the couple spats over matters such as waistcoats, dictionaries, and evening dress, even using the radio as a weapon in their marital struggle. Arriving at the glittering party, where Édouard is scheduled to perform, the gifted but headstrong artiste feels mounting stress as the hour of his petit concert draws nigh. "The film has been compared to Renoir's La Règle du jeu and has the same kind of charm and lightness of touch, ironically exploring the emptiness and hypocrisy of fashionable society without ever descending into caricature or denying the humanity of its characters" (Konstantin Bazarov).


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