Lucie Aubrac

Hollywood may not make 'em like it used to, but Claude Berri has stepped into the breach with this defiantly old-fashioned testament to the power of love, set amidst the turmoil of WWII France. Based on Il partiront dans l'ivress, the memoirs of real-life French Resistance fighter Lucie Aubrac, Berri's film plays like formula fiction. The year is 1943 and...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Hollywood may not make 'em like it used to, but Claude Berri has stepped into the breach with this defiantly old-fashioned testament to the power of love, set amidst the turmoil of WWII France. Based on Il partiront dans l'ivress, the memoirs of

real-life French Resistance fighter Lucie Aubrac, Berri's film plays like formula fiction. The year is 1943 and Lucie and Raymond Aubrac (Carol Bouquet, Daniel Auteuil), maintain the façade of ordinary citizens while bombing trains and otherwise bedeviling the occupying Nazi forces and their

French allies. Much though they love their country, Lucie and Raymond love each other even more ferociously. She bluffs her way into arranging Raymond's release from a locally controlled prison, when the charge is black-marketeering (though his Resistance activities are suspected), but his second

incarceration is a tougher nut to crack: He's been arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to death for treason. Lucie concocts an ingenious and elaborate plan that utilizes the fact that she's several months pregnant. Claiming to be Raymond's unwitting, desperate fiancée and pleading to be

permitted a death row marriage that will legitimize her unborn child and spare her family disgrace; meanwhile, as the clock ticks, Raymond's comrades plot to ambush the prison transport. Handsomely photographed and acted, this exercise in wartime nostalgia is completely uninterested in revisionist

views of the Nazi occupation of France; resourceful Resistance fighters, lubricious Germans and chic-under-pressure Frenchwomen are the order of the day, and the fashionably cynical need not apply.

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