• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:December 18, 2021

Le Bonheur 

François (Jean-Claude Drouot), a carpenter with a wife and two small children, falls in love with Émilie (Marie-France Boyer), a post office clerk. An underrated film by Agnès Varda that borrows visually from Jean Renoir, with its lush picnics in the French countryside and pretty family idyll. Fiction and the real world are hard to separate, as Drouot’s family are played by his actual wife and kids, which is interesting considering how a seemingly simple story takes a very personal and dark turn. Varda finds a chance to examine the devastating consequences of a man’s thoughtless behavior… ultimately, life goes on, the seasons keep changing. Beautifully realized.

1965-France. 87 min. Color. Produced by Mag Bodard. Written and directed by Agnès Varda. Cinematography: Claude Beausoleil, Jean Rabier. Cast: Jean-Claude Drouot (François), Claire Drouot (Thérèse), Olivier Drouot (Pierrot), Sandrine Drouot (Gisou), Marie-France Boyer, Marcelle Faure-Bertin.

Trivia: Alternative title: Happiness.

Berlin: Silver Bear.

Last word: “It was a fragile and almost dangerous film. I said something very cruel at the time: ‘Everyone is unique but replaceable.’ The family unit is important to the notion of society. If the social role is functioning, if there is a father, mother, and children, then the family unit works. If you remove an element, you have to put something in its place. You can’t have a hole… The world is full of holes today.” (Varda, Crash)



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