"THE AVIATOR'S WIFE is not a movie about the wife of an aviator nor about a love story in the air. In fact, we'll just admire that lucky woman on a photography during a few seconds in Eric Rohmer's first movie of the "comedies and proverbs" serie. But she really has, in the Rohmer's way of thinking, the main role of the movie. She gets pregnant, forcing her husband, a pilot, to make a choice between her and his 25 years old mistress, Anne, the main character of the movie, played by Marie Rivière who has been present now in 6 Eric Rohmer's movies.Christian's decision is an emotional shock for Anne who is loved by François, a night-shift employee. The action of THE AVIATOR'S WIFE, if one may call "action" the discussions between characters composing a Rohmer's movie, starts here. And lasts one day. At the end of the day, one character will be emotionally wounded for life. And it won't be the aviator's wife.If you love psychological movies with dialogs extremely well written and everyday life characters, then THE AVIATOR'S WIFE is definitively the movie for you. If not, unless you're a curious movie lover, skip it.Winstar Home Video, as always, hasn't cleaned at all the master, so the image quality is below-average but it's not so important after all in an Eric Rohmer's movie. A DVD that will make you feel smarter."
Rohmer knows relationships
Dennis Littrell | SoCal | 08/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In this bittersweet tale of disconnections and possibilities perhaps we have the essence of the art of Eric Rohmer. If you have only one Rohmer film to see, perhaps you ought to make it this one because it is so very, very French, so interestingly talkative (one of Rohmer's trademarks) and so very, very Rohmer.
The Aviator's wife, incidentally does not appear except in a photograph, but that is all to the point. Everything is a bit off stage in this intriguing drama: love especially is a bit off stage. And yet how all the participants yearn.
Marie Riviere stars as Anne who is in love with the aviator. We catch her just as she learns that he no longer wants her. He tells her that his wife is pregnant and so he must return to her. Meanwhile, she is being pestered by Francois (Philippe Marlaud) who is in love with her. However he is a little too young and "clinging." Truly she is not interested. It is a disconnection as far as she is concerned.
The heart of the film occurs when Francois is following the aviator and the blond woman. Francois is obsessive and jealous. He follows because...it isn't clear and he really doesn't know why except that this is the man that Anne loves. As it happens while he is following them he runs into a pretty fifteen-year-old (Lucie, played fetchingly by Anne-Laure Meury) who imagines that he is following her. She turns it into a game, and again we have a disconnection. She is fun and cute and full of life, but he cannot really see her because he pines for Anne. Meanwhile Anne of course is pining for the aviator.
Rohmer's intriguing little joke is about the aviator's wife. Who is she and what is she like? We can only imagine. And this is right. The woman imagines what the other woman is like, but never really knows unless she meets her.
Maire Riviere is only passably pretty, but she has gorgeous limbs and beautiful skin and a hypnotic way about her, which Rohmer accentuates in the next to the last scene in her apartment with Francois. We follow the talk between the two, of disconnection and off center possibilities, of friends and lovers with whom things are tantalizingly not exactly right and yet not tragically wrong. As we follow this talk we see that Anne's heart is breaking or has broken--and all the while we see her skin as Francois does. She wants to be touched, but not by him. And then she allows him to touch her, but only in comforting gestures, redirecting his hands away from amorous intent. And then she goes out with a man in whom she really has no interest.
Such is life, one might say. Rohmer certainly thinks so.
One thing I love about Rohmer's films is that you cannot predict where they will go. Another thing is his incredible attention to authentic detail about how people talk and how they feel without cliche and without any compromise with reality--Rohmer's reality of course, which I find is very much like the reality that I have experienced.
See this for Eric Rohmer whose entre into the world of cinema is substantial, original, and wonderfully evocative of what it is like to live in the modern world with an emphasis on personal relationships and love."
A charming movie
T. Baughman | Massillon, Ohio United States | 03/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Very little actually happens in this movie yet I found it to be worth watching. This movie is my introduction to the films of Eric Rohmer, and I am sure that I will view as many of his movies as I can. Rohmer is a master."
The Woman Always Decides
Archmaker | California | 08/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This light yet perceptive film is about misunderstanding and missed opportunities. It is sweetly sad and humorous and knowing about the ways of men and women in love.It is not about the Aviator, nor his wife. In the opening the Aviator dumps his younger mistress because his wife is pregnant and the mistress in turn spurns another younger man she's been seeing. This young man, Francois, happens to see the Aviator with his "love" and later, by chance, takes the opportunity to follow him. While tailing the Aviator who is with another woman, Francois meets a younger woman who helps him and in turn draws out the reason for his following the couple and ultimately his upset and confusion over the situation.The humor and the irony in the movie is that both women, the mistress and the younger student, try to tell Francois the truth about women and love...but he will not hear it. Francois is so convinced of his own understanding of things (wrongly), that he cannot see the bright hope in front of him (the student) and the lost cause he is obsessing over (the mistress). Francois listens but doesn't hear.And in the end, he gets a lesson, but does he learn?A French movie all the way, for those that like them. 4-1/2 stars."
Fear of Intimacy
Markus Youssef | Toronto | 01/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anne wants to prove to herself and the world that she's defective and unlovable by choosing men whom she knows are either unavailable (married pilot) or whom she can easily keep at bay(20 year old Francois). She says she's a "maneater" and poor Francois is so hungry for love that he denies reality to keep his fantasy alive. A nice coming of age movie and according to Enigma, "to learn to live and love - that's what we are here for." "