Jules and Jim

A.O. Scott looks back at Jules and Jim in this video review.

“An essential piece of cinema history.” Slant

(Jules et Jim). Paris, 1910. Two young writers (Oskar Werner and Henri Serre) meet and become close friends. During a visit to a Greek island, they are fascinated by the smile on the face of an ancient statue and, back in Paris, the smile of a capricious young woman (Jeanne Moreau) similarly captivates them both. Thus begins cinema's best-known ménage à trois, one that starts gaily and ends in tragedy. Truffaut's lyrical construction and Raoul Coutard's brilliant cinematography combine to make the story's restlessness a physical property of the film. "There are two themes," Truffaut said, "that of the friendship between the two men, which tries to remain alive, and that of the impossibility of living à trois. The idea of the film is that the couple is not really satisfactory but there is no alternative."

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