My Life to Live (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Written by Jean-Luc Godard and Marcel Sacotte from the book by Sacotte
Les Films de la Pleiade/Pathe Consortium Cinema
First viewing/Netflix rental
One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Despite a luminous performance by Anna Karina, I have not overcome my aversion to Godard.
The story consists of twelve tableaux or vignettes outlining the descent of Nana (Karina) from shop girl and wanna-be actress to prostitute. As the film begins, Nana is discussing their breakup with her ex-husband or ex-boyfriend. Evidentally, there was a child involved, who is no longer in Nana’s life. Next we observe Nana’s attempts to cadge loans and her boring work-a-day existence.
She is ripe for a new trade and seems to have a knack for it. Unfortunately, she soon turns to a pimp in hopes of higher rewards.
There’s nothing wrong with the story or the acting. The initial conversation is shot with the actors’ backs to the camera and already I was pretty irritated with this movie. The middle part is OK but the penultimate tableaux consists of an interminable pretentious conversation about philosophy and I was annoyed again. Godard is just not for me.