In the Shadow of Women

Watch In the Shadow of Women

  • NR
  • 2016
  • 1 hr 13 min
  • 6.5  (1,553)
  • 74

In the Shadow of Women is a French film released in 2015 that explores the complexities of romantic relationships and artistic pursuits in a satisfyingly minimalist and straightforward way. The film follows Pierre (played by Stanislas Merhar), a documentary filmmaker who has been working on a project about a resistance fighter during the Second World War. He is married to Manon (Clotilde Courau), who edits his films and also works as a teacher. One day, while pitching his film to a funding organization, Pierre meets Elisabeth (Lena Paugam), a young intern who is interested in his work. They strike up a conversation and Pierre begins to feel a spark of attraction.

As the film progresses, we see Pierre struggling to balance his relationships with both women, as well as his own artistic integrity. He starts to have an affair with Elisabeth and hides it from his wife, leading to a tense and emotional climax. However, the film doesn't rely on melodrama or clichés to tell its story. Instead, it portrays the characters' struggles with a quiet intensity that feels intense and authentic.

One of the strengths of In the Shadow of Women is its direction by Philippe Garrel. He has a knack for getting his actors to deliver naturalistic, understated performances that feel real and raw. This is especially true of Courau, who gives a standout performance as a woman struggling to come to terms with her husband's infidelity. She conveys so much through small gestures and expressions, and her character's journey is the emotional core of the film.

The film's cinematography is also worth mentioning. It was shot in black and white, which gives it a classic and timeless feel. The camera work is simple and unobtrusive, capturing the characters' interactions in a way that feels intimate and immediate. The film's use of close-ups, in particular, is effective in drawing us into the characters' emotions and internal struggles.

In terms of themes, the film explores the idea of artistic integrity and personal passion in a way that is both universal and specific to the characters. Pierre's desire to tell the story of the resistance fighter reflects his own dedication to his craft, while Manon's passion for teaching is shown through her dedication to her students. Elisabeth's interest in Pierre's work, meanwhile, reflects her own desire to discover and learn from the past. These individual passions and pursuits collide and intersect throughout the film, making for a nuanced and layered exploration of what drives us as humans.

Overall, In the Shadow of Women is a mature and thought-provoking film that doesn't pander to its audience or rely on cheap plot twists. Instead, it trusts in the strength of its actors and its themes to deliver a powerful and resonant story about love, loss, and the pursuit of artistic expression. It is a film that rewards close attention and thoughtful reflection, and it is a testament to the power of quiet, restrained filmmaking.

In the Shadow of Women is a 2016 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 13 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 74.

In the Shadow of Women
Where to Watch In the Shadow of Women
In the Shadow of Women is available to watch free on Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent In the Shadow of Women for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 13 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (1,553)
  • Metascore