50 Years of the New York Film Festival

NYFF ‘80: The Last Metro

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NYFF ‘80: The Last Metro
Le dernier métro | François Truffaut, 1980
France | Format: 35mm | 131 minutes

Catherine Deneuve gives one of her greatest performances as the wife of a Jewish theater director in Nazi-occupied Paris in François Truffaut’s classic wartime melodrama. While her husband takes refuge in the theater’s basement, Deneuve’s Marion takes the reigns of their latest production, in which she also stars opposite a womanizing actor, Bernard (Gérard Depardieu), who is also a member of the resistance. As the two performers grow closer, their relationship tests Marion’s ambivalent feelings about the Nazis, and the stability of her marriage. A taut, deeply romantic portrait of ordinary people caught up in the tide of extraordinary events, The Last Metro would become one of Truffaut’s biggest popular hits, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film and 10 French César awards, including Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress.

“François Truffaut does for the theater what his Day For Night did for the cinema.”
—NYFF18 program note

“Not since Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be has there been such a triumphantly unorthodox use of grim material that usually prompts movies of pious, prefabricated responses… It's not since Tristana that Miss Deneuve has had a role to match that of Marion Steiner, a woman of intelligence, backbone, and the kind of beauty that, you believe, would have made her a star of the Paris stage. With her hair done up in a style I associate with Danielle Darrieux, Miss Deneuve is elegant without being frosty, grand without being great lady-ish. It's a star performance of a star role.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times

Series: 50 Years of the New York Film Festival

Venue: Francesca Beale Theater

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