Antoine and Antoinette | Chicago Reader

Antoine and Antoinette

86 minutes 2013

Jacques Becker worked for Jean Renoir as an assistant director on six features before coming into his own as a filmmaker, and this 1947 comedy often recalls Renoir's early films in its sweet, sincere romance. Antoine works at a printing plant, Antoinette at a department store; their threadbare existence as husband and wife begins to look more promising when Antoine discovers that he holds a winning lottery ticket good for 800,000 francs. The film is fleetly, one might even say frantically, edited, but the characters are so vivid that Becker makes all his emotional points cleanly and effectively. Noel Roquevert is wonderful as the odious, mustachioed shop owner who keeps putting the squeeze on Antoinette, and Roger Pigaut and Claire Maffei are luminous as the title characters, whose greatest treasure will always be each other. In French with subtitles.

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