Bed and Board
Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claude Jade, Hiroko, Barbara Laage,
The fourth installment of the Antoine Doinel saga discovers our hero married and still living in that gorgeous Paris of Truffaut’s creation, where all is romance, light, and effortless élan, and where one can actually support a family by working as a flower dyer or a model-boat operator. Our hero may have gained petit-bourgeois status; like everything he’s embraced, though, he’s quite terrible at it—he’s got the conviction and the heart, but not the attention span, as his marriage and an affair with a Japanese woman attest. Truffaut invests the film with an anachronistic cheerfulness more attuned to Lubitsch and Tati than to “reality”; his love for his characters and for cinema itself pours from every frame. With a turbo-charged cerebral presence so large it’s nearly physical, Léaud is his perfect partner, a Buster Keaton of the mind, wearing his emotions on his sleeve, and constantly tripping over them.