Every Man for Himself

Watch Every Man for Himself

  • NR
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 6.6  (3,891)

Every Man for Himself (Sauve qui peut (la vie)) is a 1980 drama film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, and starring Isabelle Huppert, Jacques Dutronc, and Nathalie Baye. The film is divided into three interwoven sections that explore the lives of three individuals - a television producer, a prostitute, and a musician - that are connected in different ways.

The film opens with a scene of a woman leaving her family, indicating the theme of disconnection and alienation that runs throughout the film. The first section follows the television producer, Paul Godard (Jacques Dutronc), juggling responsibilities at work and dealing with the end of his marriage. He pursues a new relationship with a younger woman, Denise (Nathalie Baye), while also trying to reconnect with his ex-wife and daughter. Meanwhile, he struggles with a screenplay he's been developing, which is intended to be an adaptation of Flaubert's Madame Bovary.

The second section focuses on Denise, a prostitute, who navigates the dangerous and isolating world of sex work. She faces harassment from clients, fends off a violent pimp, and struggles to maintain relationships with her sister and mother. Denise's story is told in a series of fragmented sequences that capture the chaotic and disconnected nature of her life.

The final section of the film follows the musician, Michel (played by filmmaker and musician, Jean-Pierre Léaud), who records music in his apartment and navigates the complex dynamics of his relationship with his girlfriend, journalist Patricia (Isabelle Huppert). Michel's story culminates in a violent encounter with a former lover and a realization about his creative process.

Every Man for Himself is considered a departure for Godard, who had been known for his more politically charged and experimental films in the 1960s. This film marks a return to narrative storytelling, although the fragmented structure and disconnected characters still reflect his interest in examining the ways in which modern society alienates individuals from one another.

The film's visual style is notable for its use of long takes and tracking shots that capture the characters' movements and interactions in a fluid and naturalistic way. The camera often lingers on moments of quiet reflection or mundane activity, such as Paul taking a shower or Denise applying lipstick.

The film's soundtrack also plays an important role, with music from a range of artists including Talking Heads, Patti Smith, and The Clash. The music is often used to juxtapose the characters' actions and emotions, such as the use of the song "Pump It Up" by Elvis Costello during a violent encounter.

Overall, Every Man for Himself is a complex and compelling examination of contemporary life and human relationships. The film's structure and style may seem challenging to some viewers, but they ultimately serve to deepen the characters' struggles and give voice to the alienation that many people experience in modern society. The performances from the three leads are nuanced and powerful, particularly Isabelle Huppert's portrayal of Patricia, a woman balancing her career aspirations with her desire for love and connection.

Every Man for Himself is a 1980 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.

Every Man for Himself
Where to Watch Every Man for Himself
Every Man for Himself is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Every Man for Himself for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (3,891)