Eric Rohmer’s wry exploration of a woman in love stuck between Paris and suburban boyfriend

Master director Eric Rohmer mines yet another cinematic gem with Full Moon In Paris. It is a wry, detached movie into youth and love through the eyes of a young woman looking for something more than a traditional relationship.

Lead actress Pascale Ogier was posthumously nominated for a Cesar (the French equivalent of the Oscars) for her work on Full Moon In Paris. The young actress died of a drug overdose soon after the movie opened in 1984. Elegantly constructed by Rohmer with his precise focus on dialogue and nuance, Full Moon In Paris is an unconventional deconstruction of modern romance suffused by the director’s inimitable style.

The movie is really the story of Louise (Pascale Ogier), a designer working in Paris. Louise is in a relationship with the older, more established Rémi (Tchéky Karyo). She believes their love is perfect except for one thing that keeps getting in their way. Rémi is perfectly content living together out in the suburbs and coming home each night to Louise. He would love to marry Louise and permanently domesticate her. Louise is a free spirit that enjoys going out to experience the Paris night life and yearns for something more. Rémi doesn’t enjoy going out to the city, causing discord in their relationship.

Louise has a small apartment in the city that has recently become available for her to use. She suggests keeping it so she can be alone and remain in the city overnight when Rémi refuses to join her going out. Being the flighty free spirit she is, Louise suggests it’s a way to keep their relationship alive.

Louise most often enjoys the night life with a married friend, Octave (Fabrice Luchini). Octave clearly has a romantic interest in Louise but is mostly content to be her platonic partner on her frequent excursions into Paris. Louise swears she’s not attracted to Octave but the two share long discussions about love. Things get complicated when Louise believes Rémi may be seeing one of her friends behind her back.

The dry, detached romantic potential is stripped away as Rohmer explores her relationships with these men.

Full Moon In Paris carefully reveals its characters in the taut narrative, slowly developing Louise into a wonderfully complex woman in over her head with her relationships. Will she let love slip away as she dreamily remains carefree in Paris? The dry, detached romantic potential is stripped away as Rohmer explores her relationships with these men. Everything is coyly handled and played close to the vest, an unusual tact that makes Full Moon In Paris a much richer film. It completely captures the indecision possible in love and romance in exacting fashion.

One of the true auteurs of the Twentieth Century, Eric Rohmer delivers yet another finely crafted masterpiece. Full Moon In Paris doesn’t make quite the same impact as his absolute best films but it surely ranks high in his career. While the lavish critical acclaim it received feels more like recognition for a lifetime of serious, important films, this French film stands on its own as an excellent effort.

Movie ★★★★★

Full Moon in Paris Blu-ray screen shot 8

Film Movement Classics brings yet another classic Eric Rohmer film to Blu-ray. The packaging claims a new “digital restoration” for the 1984 French film. This is an adequate transfer from serviceable film elements, possibly struck from a telecine, though its definition and fine resolution are somewhat lacking.

They present the film’s original 1.33:1 aspect ratio in decent quality with no serious problems. The elements have a few minor bits of positive debris but are otherwise in fine shape. A steady contrast includes acceptable black levels and a slightly reserved color palette.

Strong technical parameters lead to a perfectly transparent AVC video encode. Full Moon In Paris runs 101 minutes on a BD-50. Encoded in a solid AVC video presentation at 1080P resolution averaging 32 Mbps, there are no compression artifacts of any kind. The overall video may have some minor filtering, its film grain has low density and weight. There are no noticeable processing artifacts if filtering was applied.

Video ★★★☆☆

The original monaural soundtrack sounds fine in 2.0 PCM audio. The dialogue-driven French film has little music outside of a few incidental songs played by the characters. Dialogue is intelligible and comes in pleasing fidelity. There is simply nothing extraordinary going on with the mix. It’s a fine audio presentation for the movie’s limited sound design.

Optional English subtitles display in a white font. One thing I did notice is that a couple of words are left untranslated but nothing important seemed left out.

Audio ★★★☆☆

A brief interview with the film’s deceased lead actress and some trailers round out the special features. The new essay by film critic David Thompson comes in a glossy booklet with a cast list and photos. Film Movement Classics includes reversible cover art in their standard clear Blu-ray case. The disc is coded for all regions.

Archival Interview With Pascale Ogier (02:40 in Upscaled HD) – In French with English subtitles, the actress briefly discusses Rohmer’s script process and her mother, a famous French actress in her own right that had known Rohmer.

Full Moon In Paris 2015 Theatrical Trailer (01:21 in HD)

Full Moon In Paris Original Theatrical Trailer (01:44 in Upscaled HD)

Film Movement Classics Trailers (All in HD) – The Marquise of O; Amour Fou; If You Don’t, I Will; The Pillow Book; The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe; Francesco

Essay – Film critic David Thompson attempts a critique and review that feels trite at times.

Extras ★★☆☆☆

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.


Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.

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