Le Mépris

Le Mepris
  • 1963
  • France
  • 1h 43min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Cast: Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli.
  • UK release: 1 January 2016

Paul (Piccoli) is a screenwriter, asked by bombastic American producer Prokosch (Palance) to rework the script of a movie version of Homer's Odyssey, but Paul's marriage to the beautiful Camille (Bardot) is breaking down. Godard's timeless tale of death and love is one of his most moving films and is stunningly shot by regular collaborator Raoul Coutard.

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A sumptuously stylish study of a rocky marriage and fraught professional relationships, Godard’s unusually straightforward adaptation of a novel by Moravia is also his most hauntingly beautiful film. A scriptwriter (Piccoli) adapting Homer’s Odyssey is torn between the demands of a philistine producer (Palance), his loyalty to the director (Lang) and his own self-respect; to make matters worse, his indecision is getting to his wife (Bardot)… Making the most of Raoul Coutard’s luscious ’Scope images and Georges Delerue’s achingly lovely score, Godard ensures that we care about this troubled couple even as he illuminates, with incisive wit, the corrosive compromises often inherent in filmmaking. A monumental achievement which combines the classical with the radical.

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Reviews & features

Le Mépris

28 Dec 20155 stars

Jean Luc-Godard’s tragic tale of the death of a marriage returns to cinemas

A timeless tale of the death of love, told amidst ruins, 1963’s Le Mépris (Contempt) is French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard’s most accessible work and one of his most personally revealing. Based on Alberto Moravia’s novel A Ghost at Noon but with…

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