The Woman Next Door

Director: Fran├žois Truffaut
Year Released: 1981
Rating: 1.5

When Gerard Depardieu's former love, an all-teeth-and-smiles Fanny Ardant, moves in next door, her presence disrupts his family life - he tries to avoid her, but she's persistent in following him. This film was made during Truffaut's more 'formal' years - the later ones where he more or less jettisoned the impulsiveness and freewheeling of The 400 Blows and Jules and Jim for a more static approach: the relationship between Ardant and Depardieu is kept at a distance (until Depardieu's unforeseen rage kicks in) and the all-too familiar concept is predictably tragic (or is that tragically predictable?). As with Confidentially Yours, Fahrenheit 451, Two English Girls, it's well crafted but cold - like the work of a filmmaker trying consciously to be "serious."