Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

A Woman's Life

Une vie

2016, Stéphane Brizé, France, 119 min. With Judith Chemla, Yolande Moreau.

Show Times

  • Fri, Jun 16th 8:15pm
  • Sat, Jun 17th 5:45pm
  • Sun, Jun 18th 3:00pm
  • Mon, Jun 19th 6:00pm
  • Tue, Jun 20th 8:00pm
  • Wed, Jun 21st 6:00pm
  • Thu, Jun 22nd 8:00pm
Chicago premiere!

"Exquisitely moving...a haunting study of class, tragedy, and time." — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

"A moving, beautifully modulated adaptation...By the film’s end, audiences will feel as if they’ve seen one of the rare visualizations of a 19th-century novel that doesn’t merely follow a plot but captures depth of character." — Jay Weissberg, Variety

Director Brizé's follow-up to his acclaimed THE MEASURE OF A MAN might seem an abrupt change of pace, shifting his focus from a victim of contemporary downsizing to a high-born woman of the early nineteenth century, but this adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's first novel achieves a comparable immediacy in depicting a character stripped of her illusions as she is buffeted by forces beyond her control. Jeanne (Chemla), the only daughter of an aristocratic Norman family, places her faith in her dashing young husband, her priest, her best friend, and her spoiled son, only to weather a series of betrayals and disasters that lead to the conclusion, "Life is never as good or as bad as you think." Brizé avoids the stuffiness of costume drama through an energized, immersive style built on handheld camerawork, a 1.33:1 frame, ellipses, abrupt transitions, and flashbacks and flash-forwards that demonstrate that happiness and heartbreak are never far apart. In French with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)

Play Trailer