french films > Contempt (Le Mépris)

Contempt (Le Mépris)

Le Mépris

Contempt (Le Mépris)

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli

year: 1963

colour: no

certificate: PG

director: Jean-Luc Godard

runtime: 103

Drama: The conflict between artistic expression and commercial opportunity parallels Paul's sudden estrangement from his wife Camille Javal (Brigitte Bardot), who becomes aloof with Paul after being left alone with Prokosch, a millionaire playboy. While founded on Moravia's story of the progressive estrangement between a husband and wife, Godard's version also contains deliberate parallels with aspects of his own life: while Paul, Camille, and Prokosch correspond to Odysseus, Penelope, and Poseidon, respectively, they also correspond in some ways with Godard, his wife Anna Karina (his choice of female lead), and Joseph E. Levine, the film's distributor. At one point, Bardot dons a black wig which gives her a resemblance to Karina. Michel Piccoli also bears some resemblance to Brigitte Bardot's ex-husband and svengali, the filmmaker Roger Vadim.

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