Jules et Jim is a surprisingly good film. After witnessing the unpredictability of the French New Wave last week from Breathless, I think I was a bit more prepared for this movie, and as a result had a far better time while watching it. While the movie was nowhere near as innovated from a technical standpoint as Breathless was, this movie seemed to be more of a character study of these three people and their love triangle than anything else. As a result, I found myself caring a lot more about these people, particularly the character Jim and his struggle to rid himself of Catherine. I was very entertained and engrossed in his struggle to the point that I found myself almost yelling at the screen by some of his decisions in the third act. The movie did a good job making you root for both Jules and Jim, but particularly Jim, from start to finish.
Catherine also was an interesting character. I couldn’t help but see the similarities between her and the character Patricia from Breathless. Catherine’s unpredictability really made me think of this character. I would not be surprised to hear that director Francois Truffaut based Catherine off of Patricia. However, from a technical standpoint I found Jules et Jim to be somewhat lackluster. Perhaps this is because I have been slightly desensitized to the French New Wave style, but I didn’t see much of anything that separated Jules et Jim from the pack short of a few sporadic jump-cuts. To me, this film was much safer in its approach than Breathless was, but its story was also significantly more gripping than Breathless. Ultimately, this movie was good, but not great.
The Verdict: 7/10 Good.