He is the most symbolic film director of his generation and she is twenty years his junior. Together, they are working on a film. Jean-Luc loves Anne. This is the starting point of Redoutable. He chooses her to star in La Chinoise. The film hits the big screen and cristallises the critics as well as the relationship of the two lovers. Then May 68 happens and Jean-Luc Godard finds himself in a spiral of marginalisation.
Michel Hazanavicius and the formidable years of Jean-Luc Godard
There is something of a cinematographic nostalgia in the filmography of Michel Hazanavicius. That of silent movies in The Artist (in Competition, 2011) or kitsch spy films (OSS 117). And there's lots of humour, too. With Le Redoutable (Redoubtable), his focus is Jean-Luc Godard, a leading light in cinema's Nouvelle vague, in this screen adaptation of "Un an après" by Anne Wiazemsky, Godard's ex-wife. The former couple is played by Louis Garrel and Stacy Martin, supported by Bérénice Béjo.
"You'd have to be completely mad to go to Cannes this year, with everything that's going on at the moment" The words from a demonstrator to Jean-Luc Godard in May 68. A skilful yet fleeting moment that sets the tone: Le Redoutable is not a study of the work of this film director. The film opens on a film set but very soon it becomes all about Godard, the man; funny, committed, tormented, sometimes nasty, most of all, in love.
This film seemed an obvious choice to Michel Hazanavicius. It was by chance that he discovered the book "Un an après" by Anne Wiazemsky. In it she recounts her brief romance with Jean-Luc Godard in May 68. The book whet the appetite of a number of directors but the author turned down all their proposals for a screen adaptation. Then came the turn of Michel Hazanavicius who called her and won her round. He tells her that he found the book very funny, she tells him that she did too. He is the first to recognise this and she accepts.