Titled Redoubtable on the festival circuit, Michel Hazanavicius’s Godard Mon Amour is ultimately more about style than substance, which is appropriate for its subject. The picture follows a year in the rocky relationship between toothsome young actress Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin) and her husband, French Nouvelle Vague filmmaker and enfant terrible Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel), who was 17 years older than she. (Louis Garrel is only eight years older than Stacy Martin in real life, so that’s something resembling progress.) As Godard struggles with how to reconcile cinema and politics as he embraces Marxism and the student revolutions of 1968, he still finds time to be a neglectful yet controlling asshole toward Wiazemsky, and jealous of her career.
As in his Oscar-hoarding film The Artist, director Hazanavicius meticulously re-creates the look and feel of that era’s movies; even the subtitles aren’t the easy-to-read high contrast text favored today, but the pale white letters that frequently disappeared into the background. Indeed, the palette and camerawork of Hazanavicius’s film are perhaps most reminiscent of the interstitial sequences, many of which featured the real-life Wiazemsky, in One Plus One, Godard’s 1968 film about the recording of the Rolling Stones song “Sympathy for the Devil” — a title that would have been appropriate for Godard Mon Amour’s subject, too.
Opens Friday at the Embarcadero Center Cinema.