Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5  
La Peau Douce (Silken Skin) (1964)

In his chosen field, Pierre (Desailly) is a highly sought after expert on a busy lecture tour, but his flirtations with adultery expose a clumsiness that has both comedic and dramatic consequences in this witty film.

Director François Truffaut set out to create a tale of truly modern love. It takes place in planes and elevators, and has all the harassments of modern life. Indeed his preoccupation with demonstrating everything from people pressing lift buttons to the blinking of the indicators on Pierre's car, is at times quite bizarre. As the film builds, these accentuated moments create a busy, cold, and dull environment where a flash of humanity becomes very appealing.

Pierre finds such a distraction on one of the plane journeys he must make as part of his lecture tour. Françoise Dorléac plays the young stewardess who catches his eye, and with whom he begins an affair. Abandon from your mind any thoughts that this may be an indiscretion of the torrid variety. Hardly a mousier affair has been committed to screen, but this doesn't stop the middle-aged Pierre ending his marriage and offering the bemused stewardess his eternal love.

For all his intellectual ability Pierre is a silly man, who, as we soon find out, has ditched a truly passionate woman in favour of a beautiful and unobtainable ice queen of the type favoured by Hitchcock.

Between making this film and the preceding "Jules et Jim", Truffaut was preparing his book on Hitch, and his admiration of the director shines through in a number of tense scenes that arise as the result of Pierre's comical bumblings. Less amusing though, is the crime of passion that proves to Pierre, at least briefly, that adultery will ruin a good suit, and shouldn't be attempted by people of an overtly sensible nature.

End Credits

Director: François Truffaut

Writer: François Truffaut

Stars: Jean Desailly, Françoise Dorléac, Nelly Benedetti, Daniel Ceccaldi, Laurence Badie, Jean Lanier

Genre: Drama, World Cinema

Length: 118 minutes

Cinema: 1964

Country: France

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