Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Movie of the Week – The Last Metro

This week’s movie: The Last Metro (1980)

In Nazi occupied Paris during WWII, Marion Steiner, an actress married to a Jewish theatre director, tries to keep her theatre going putting on a new play, while also keeping her husband hidden within the theatre.

The film is written and directed by French New Wave filmmaker Francois Truffaut. The Last Metro is not as critically lauded as say The 400 Blows, but along with Day for Night it is my favorite of his films (coincidentally, both films are about the struggles of putting together a production). Truffaut worked with composer Georges Delerue, cinematographer Nestor Almendros, and production designer Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko on the film. The aesthetics of the film are top notch.

The cast is very good, featuring an ensemble lead by Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu.

The Last Metro is not a particularly well-known Truffaut film, but I would argue one of his best (it is also one of the last he directed, dying a few years after its release). There are multiple reasons I love it. For one, it is about putting on a theatre production, and all the difficulties that come with that, allowing us to see behind the curtain (something I always find intriguing). And second, it also has a great WWII spy undercurrent to it, which is fantastic. Everything feels heightened because at any moment the Nazis could burst through the doors and spoil everything. This is a must for fans of WWII era dramas and those, like me, who love films about theatre and moviemaking.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and VideoOn-Demand

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