The Story of Adele H.
DIRECTOR: FRANçOIS TRUFFAUT
CAST: ISABELLE ADJANI, BRUCE ROBINSON, SYLVIA MARRIOTT
Self-destructive lovelorn obsession, one of Truffaut’s abiding themes, received its most anguished, full-throttle treatment by him in this passionate and immediate 1860s-set period piece, which draws on the diaries of Adèle Hugo, daughter of the famous novelist Victor. The part of Adèle, chasing after Bruce Robinson’s military officer from Guernsey to Halifax to Barbados while refusing to acknowledge his indifference, gives Isabelle Adjani one of the roles of a lifetime, a fervid fanatic of love undone by belief in the cult of Romanticism that her father had helped to create. As in all of Truffaut’s films, there are ideas in every moment, with even the seemingly most simple set-up infused with the possibilities of cinema.