In the annals of French cinema, the 1983 film “Entre Nous” (Coup de Foudre) stands as a profoundly significant testament to the transformative power of narrative cinema. This award-winning film, directed by Diane Kurys, is an intimate exploration of the deep friendship between two women, breaking traditional storytelling conventions and carving a unique niche in the international cinematic landscape.
Entre Nous was a turning point
“Entre Nous” is not just another film – it’s a testament to progressive storytelling and a refreshing departure from the prevailing machismo that underscored many films of its era. The film presents an extraordinary narrative that resonates powerfully through the annals of French cinema, and indeed, international cinema at large.
In 1983, at a time when women’s stories were rarely the focus of mainstream cinema, Kurys brought us this compelling drama about two women, Lena (Isabelle Huppert) and Madeleine (Miou-Miou), whose lives intertwine in post-World War II France. The film is semi-autobiographical, inspired by Kurys’s mother and her friend, both of whom had endured difficult marriages and found solace and support in their friendship.
I’m starting to deep dive into Diane Kurys’s work
Kurys’s direction is deft and nuanced, never shying away from the difficult realities that women often faced in post-war France, but also never reducing her characters to mere victims. Instead, “Entre Nous” offers a nuanced portrayal of female friendship and resilience that is as heartrending as it is empowering.
Huppert and Miou-Miou’s performances are nothing short of brilliant. Their portrayals of Lena and Madeleine are authentic and deeply human, capturing a breadth of experiences that range from the mundane to the life-altering. Their chemistry on-screen is tangible, making the evolution of their friendship from casual acquaintances to inseparable confidantes a compelling journey for viewers.
But what does “Entre Nous” contribute to French cinema? Plenty.
This film was a part of the changing landscape of French cinema in the 1980s. It came at a time when the New Wave movement, which had dominated French cinema in the 60s and 70s, was waning. New and diverse voices were emerging, and “Entre Nous” was among those pioneering narratives that expanded the boundaries of French storytelling.
“Entre Nous” deviated from the traditional male-centric narratives and ventured into a realm often overlooked in cinema: the intimate world of female friendship. Its focus on the emotional and intellectual bond between two women was a refreshing break from the romantic, often objectified, portrayals of women common in films of that era.
The film’s portrayal of Lena and Madeleine’s friendship provided a raw and unfiltered depiction of the strength of female companionship. “Entre Nous” didn’t just tell a story about women; it told a story from the women’s perspective. The film’s feminist undertones, although not overt, were unmistakable and proved instrumental in gradually shifting societal perceptions.
Women as individuals
Moreover, “Entre Nous” stood apart in its portrayal of women as independent individuals rather than appendages to their male counterparts. It showed women grappling with their identities, ambitions, and emotions, pushing against societal expectations to forge their paths. The film encouraged viewers to empathize with Lena and Madeleine’s struggles and victories, rather than see them as objects of desire.
In a nutshell, “Entre Nous” contributed significantly to French cinema by presenting a narrative that was unique, personal, and yet universal. Its exploration of female friendship and resilience broke new ground in the portrayal of women in cinema, paving the way for future films of similar themes.
And the world took notice. The film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 56th Academy Awards, a testament to its universal appeal and cinematic excellence. It was a critical and commercial success, not just in France, but also in various international markets. The film’s influence can still be seen in contemporary cinema, particularly in films exploring women’s relationships and experiences.
Entre Nous and its place in French cinema history
“Entre Nous” is more than a film; it’s a movement, a statement, and an experience that has carved its niche in the history of French cinema. It stands tall as a beacon of progressive storytelling and a testament to the power of authentic narratives. It’s the kind of cinema that doesn’t just entertain but makes you think, feel, and most importantly, empathize.
So, if you haven’t had the chance to see this gem of French cinema yet, now is the time. “Entre Nous” is not just a film for women or about women; it’s a film for everyone who appreciates authentic, heartfelt narratives. It’s a film that reminds us that cinema’s true power lies in its ability to tell stories that resonate across boundaries and generations.
“Entre Nous” is a vital chapter in French cinema that continues to inspire and influence filmmakers globally. It’s a testament to the changing landscape of French cinema in the 1980s, and a shining example of the power of women’s narratives. A film that truly deserves to be celebrated.
That’s nice and all, but tell me about the Entre Nous Blu-ray
Every month, I look forward to the stunning releases from the Cohen Collection. Often overlooked by the American favorites at the Criterion Collection, Cohen represents the best in independent and world cinema. These titles deserve the loving respect Cohen bestows after being overlooked by recent audiences.
What I enjoy so much about it is that it gives more of North America chance to see the movies that rarely make it out of NYC and LA. But, what about the Cohen Collection Blu-ray?
Entre Nous gets a stellar Blu-ray release from the Cohen Collection. The special features consist of a interview with director Diane Kurys and trailers. That might not be enough for people who like robust releases, but the real winner of the disc is that 4K restoration.
Entre Nous is one those kinds of films that while popular in France rarely gets the attention it deserves outside of the region. So, when American and other outlets takes a chance on a release like this…you want to support it. Couple that stunning 1080p transfer with a DTS-HD master audio track for a robust outing.