TIFF Cinematheque presents a Summer in France: ‘La Femme infidèle’ documents the tragedy of a marriage
La Femme infidèle
Directed by Claude Chabrol
Written by Claude Chabrol
Imagine the perfect life. If you were Charles Desvallees (Michel Bouquet), you’d imagine that you had a placid, undemanding office job. You’d also imagine that your secretary was a young, bubbly ingénue in a mini skirt.
After work, you’d imagine to drive home to a lavish, spacious mansion, filled with beautiful furniture and a dutiful housemaid to clean both. Waiting for you inside is your wife Hélène (Stéphane Audran), graceful and meek. Alongside Hélène is your son, a precocious young boy that likes to read and gets top marks.
Imagine if, that night, you take your wife out to dinner with friends. Joking, laughing and jovial, you take her dancing afterwards, and when you come home, you two make love. Imagine if you lived that life, but imagine if that life is not as perfect as described. If you can, then you just imagined Claude Chabrol’s romantic tragedy, La Femme infidèle.