Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) returns to the Festival with this fictionalized glimpse into the life of iconoclastic filmmaking legend Jean-Luc Godard and his search for inspiration in late 1960s Paris.
In the late 1960s, seven years after his debut feature rocked international cinema, France's most prolific and influential contemporary filmmaker underwent a profound artistic crisis. Jean-Luc Godard was a restless, inquisitive iconoclast who had blazed through the '60s like a comet, rewriting the grammar of cinema. It was a pivotal moment. With Le Redoutable, Michel Hazanavicius, best known for Academy Award winner The Artist, takes on the Herculean task of dramatizing part of this story, doing so with reverence and respect — even if the subject is ultimately presented as a god with clay feet.
It's 1967, and Godard (Louis Garrel) is reimagining his art. His marriage to Anna Karina, muse of his groundbreaking films, is over. Sensing cultural and political change in the air a full year before the unrest of May '68, Godard embarks on a new film, La Chinoise, with a new muse, actor and student activist Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin).
This becomes the catalyst for Hazanavicius' portrait of the artist in crisis. Godard is confused when La Chinoise is met with indifference but he's resolute about his new path, even as he and Anne get caught up in the revolt that threatens to overturn the republic.
Le Redoutable examines this flashpoint and the filmmaker's response to it. Few punches are pulled: the arrogant and diffident sides of the man are both depicted, as is his determination to evolve. Garrel pulls off the near-impossible, inhabiting this most enigmatic real-life figure.
Godard's legacy is immense. Hazanavicius captures the human struggle behind the art.