The Last Metro | Chicago Reader

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131 minutes
On the surface, a tepid, shallow, but slickly mounted 1981 entertainment by Francois Truffaut, set during the German occupation of Paris, where a theatrical troupe is struggling to mount a new production while the director, a fugitive (Heinz Bennent), hides in the theater basement. Meanwhile, his wife and leading lady (Catherine Deneuve) enters timorously into an affair with the new leading man (Gerard Depardieu). Truffaut coaxes only familiar meanings from the material, and even seems to back away from the emotional possibilities, yet the accumulation of metaphors of containment and concealment gradually comes to suggest another subject—the withdrawal, the silence, the impotency of the artist. At times, the film seems to be about the reasons for its own emptiness.

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