The Woman Next Door

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The Woman Next Door is a dramatic French film that was written by Suzanne Schiffman, Jean Aurel and Francois Truffaut, who also directed. The movie features Fanny Ardant and Gerard Depardieu. The story follow two neighboring families. The inhabitants of the house on the right include Bernard Coudray (played by Gerard Depardieu) who is very friendly and in love his wife and family. Air traffic controller, Phillpe Bauchard (played by Henri Garcin) has moved in next door with his new beautiful and beguiling wife, Mathilde (played by Fanny Ardant).

At first, it is not apparent why Bernard is reluctant to become friendly with the new neighbors. Soon it is revealed that the situation is complex since Bernard and Mathilde were lovers almost a decade prior and had ended a problematic relationship. Bernard also finds out that she said he was a manic depressive who was violent. Things appear to be very calm, since the couples speak nicely to each other.

The main problem is that neither Bernard nor Mathilde have told their spouses about their former relationship. Had this been revealed at the outset, there may have been a way to avoid future issues. Instead, they decide to keep it all in the past and in secret. They seem as though they have moved past it all as they exchange pleasantries.

We learn that the real reason they decided to keep their former relationship to themselves is that Bernard and Mathilde are still very passionately attracted to each other.

However, before very long, the two are soon embroiled in a very torrid affair, spending afternoons at a nearby motel. Unfortunately, the concierge has become aware of their involvement. Soon it is very apparent that their renewed passion will only lead to heartache, both for themselves and their respective spouses and families. Still, they cannot seem to dispense with the obsessive behavior that drives their relationship.

| 1981 | 1 hr 46 min | 7.3/10
Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Henri Garcin, Michèle Baumgartner
Franois Truffaut
Produced By
Franois Truffaut
The Woman Next Door
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