Dames du Bois de Boulogne, Les

Director: Robert Bresson
Year Released: 1945
Rating: 2.0

An unpleasant woman tries to get even with her unpleasant lover in this ultimately displeasing film made early on in Bresson's career. The woman that you're supposed to identify with (the ex-prostitute trying to reform herself) is a flake, too, and in one scene she extinguishes a cigarette on a man's face. Eventually it becomes melodrama, with the ex-prostitute swooning (and coming close to death when her 'past' is discovered), the manipulator smirking and staring ominously and the man visibly disgusted with the idea that the woman he's marrying has 'been around.' If anything, this film's iciness hints at the dark and emotionally disconnected atmosphere of post-War France - even Jean Cocteau's witty genius (read Les Enfants Terribles) is missing from the script (it's been replaced with novel-esque banalities).