Fortunate (1960) Poster

(1960)

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8/10
What New Wave?
writers_reign7 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
By far the best thing about this wonderful film is that it was made in 1960 right at the apex of the much vaunted new wave, the one that had pseuds and academics creaming in their pants and the one that lasted all of five minutes. Here Alex Joffe, little more than a journeyman writer- director reminds us that REAL film making is about PEOPLE and grammar - Master Shot, Long Shot, Mid Shot, Two-Shot, Close Shot, Close Up, Fade In, Fade Out, Dissolve, not shooting on the streets with a couple of mates and a hand-held camera, having your leading actor walk up the boulevard and then walk down again for no reason, crudely jump cutting because you don't know what a movieola is. It would be difficult to nominate two acting styles as disparate as Michele Morgan and Bourvil - Charles Laughton and Celia Johnson perhaps, or Dorothy McGuire and Rod Steiger. No matter, here the two leads manage to meld perfectly. As if to rub it in Joffe is going back 20 years to the Occupation and Morgan gets to wear the beret she wore in Quai des brumes. It's one of those very human stories with everything in, laughter, tears, tragedy, melodrama and it all works beautifully. In a touch of the Green Cards, Morgan is a middle-class lady with two young children and a husband involved with the Resistance who has been arrested. Bourvil is a poacher one rabbit short of a good night's work. Schoolteacher Gaby Morlay - another great pre-New Wave actress in an affecting cameo - brings them together, arranges fake papers including a marriage license and packs them off to Toulouse in the 'Free' Zone. There they sit out the war forging a bond not only with each other but also with the Jewish family who live next door. Inevitably there is only one ending; the war ends and Bourvil leaves. Bittersweet? In spades.
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Let's stand together and hope for the best!
dbdumonteil20 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
During WW2, a posh bourgeois woman (Morgan)is compelled to live under the same room as a crude simple-minded yet big-hearted man.(Bourvil) Her husband was arrested by the Gestapo and she is a hunted woman .

Although not looked upon as a first-rate director,Joffé was praised for the way he used his actors.It's patently obvious in "Fortunat"!Michèle Morgan gives a subtle performance as a woman whose resilience is completely unexpected:when she enters the seedy flat,she says "We cannot stay here!It's not comfortable enough ! The children are not used to that!".Morgan manages to keep her pride and her radiance even when she carries out humble homework.In direct contrast to her,we have Fortunat:Bourvil shines in his part of an uneducated peasant,risking his life to save his French fellow men as his former school mistress (Gaby Morlay) taught him to do.

Their neighbors are a Jewish family (good support from Rosy Varte and Teddy Billis)with a little girl.In a very simple but moving way,Joffé shows the absurdity of Anti-Semitism:the two families get on very well,they drink lemonade,make music and celebrate Christmas together.The most beautiful scene is perhaps the moment when the two boys and the girl are eating bread and are pretending they're savoring chicken.

Joffé's detractors are going to say it's too good to be true.But the outside world is still here.Morgan hopes the Falk family will be safe and sound but she does not know about concentration camps.Morgan's husband returns from Germany a broken man (he does not appear in the movie),and Bourvil's schoolteacher is shot.

Like this ? Try these.. René Clément: "le jour et l'heure" 1963 Jacques Doillon: "un sac de billes" 1975 George Stevens:"the diary of Anne Frank" 1961 Claude Chabrol: "la Ligne de Démarcation" 1965
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