Oscar Movies: A Man and a Woman (1966)

A Man and a Woman A Man and a Woman A Man and a Woman A Man and a Woman poster

France (Un Homme et Une Femme)

A Man and A Woman, directed by Claude Lelouch, was one of the most popular international hits of the 1960s.
Unfolding as a classic romantic triangle with a twist, the movie revolves around a young widower, a young widow, and her husband.
Adding to the movie’s kinetic quality is the fact that the leading characters all have exciting, photogenic occupations: stunt man, script girl, racing-car driver. They are placed in a precise temporal context (from January 1st to the 22nd), and in a defined spatial area (Deauville, Paris, Monte Carlo).
Lelouch described his first romantic movie in the following way: “The subject–Passion against marriage, life against death, speed against love. It is a film of emotions. The sound was more important than the words, the colors more enchanting than the scenery. Every moment was a cry, the sound of a car engine, a song.”
If the actors seem passive, it’s because Lelouch’s restless camera–shooting through rain, snow, ice and into sunsets–supplies the changing tones and the moods for them. Said Lelouch: “With this film I became convinced that one must not narrate but express. What the characters did not say was often more important than what they said.”
The beautiful French star Anouk Aimee (who had appeared in  Fellini’s “81/2”) is appropriately mysterious and glamorous. The two leading men, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Pierre Barouh, are like a teen-age girl’s dream boyfriends–daredevils to the outside world but gentle and sweet with women.
The original script was written by Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven. Francis Lai’s highly melodic score achieved fame on its own merits. 
Premiering at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, “A Man and a Woman” won the 1966 Oscar Award for Best Foreign Picture.
End Note
Too bad that the sequel, “A Man and A Woman 20 Years Later,” in 1986, was such a disappointment.
Running Time: 102 minutes
Oscar Alert
Oscar Nominations: 4
Foreign Language
Director: Claude Lelouch
Actress: Anouk Aimee
Story and Screenplay (Original): Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven
Oscar Awards: 2
Foreign Language
Story and Screenplay