The Rules of the Game Movie Review(1939)
Just prior to WWII, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game (La Règle du jeu) was released. Although it was a complete commercial flop at the time, it is now widely considered one of the greatest films of all time. Rich visual and ideological textures are no doubt the influence of the filmmaker’s father, the painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
The film was a scathing indictment of the French haute bourgeoisie, the upper-middle class, and the role their self-serving shortsightedness played in the climate of political and economic unrest which denuded in war. Renoir likened the condition of the French social structure to “dancing on a volcano.” He felt so strongly about the content he was imparting that he began filming before he had finished the script, and was thoroughly disappointed when the film was so poorly received and then banned by the French government as demoralizing. The film’s themes are as contemporary today as they were historically apropos.
The Criterion Collection version, as par usual, is loaded with amenities. The Special Edition Double-Disk Set includes an introduction and writing by Renoir, scene analysis from Christopher Faulkner, a Renoir historian, tributes written for the film and Renoir by J. Hoberman, Kent Jones,Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders and others, and much more.
- Story A
- Acting A
- Visuals A
- Originality/Innovation A
- Enjoyability A
- Overall A
- DVD Extras A