The Green Ray is quintessential Rohmer, as sure to infuriate those who don't like his style as it is to delight his fans. It is one of his lightest films, with many dialogues being improvised which gives it a particular quality, but of course there is a sense of direction to all the meandering discourses, and it is untangling these threads that makes it so pleasurable to watch. The poise is there as always, suggesting a firm structure around the improvisation. Marie Riviere plays Delphine as the ultimate Rohmer heroine, full of self-doubts and difficulties in facing the world as she tries to arrange a holiday on her own steam at the last minute, having been let down by a friend. Rohmer isn't afraid to let her try the viewer's patience with her frequent tearful moments, but you never lose your hopes for her in spite of her slightly moony reactions. Much of the film shows the awkwardness and pain of feeling out of kilter with those around you, and being powerless to bridge the gap. It's a major theme in real life, I think, but one that is seldom focused on in films, no doubt because it seems too undramatic. Music is discreetly used, mainly when Delphine chances upon a number of playing cards in the street, and the sense of place is amazing, making the film a portrait of at least four French locations of contrasting types. The last 10 minutes of the film are among the most joyous in all cinema, showing how Rohmer's sense of structure and pacing give quite unexpected depth in the final chapter, so that you are left walking on air.