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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A flawed classic.
This was a most unusual film, especially for one purporting to be a 'war' film. In reality it is a movie about a French bird and the men she loves - with often fatal consequences for the men who fall for her pretty eyes. I found the first 30 minutes to be a tad confusing, and the constant bursts of music were a distraction for me from the story itself. However, the rich...
Published on 31 July 2011 by Bobby Smith

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another lavishly budgeted but often shapeless jumble of incidents and characters from Claude Lelouch at his most self-indulgent
Few directors are as maddeningly inconsistent as Claude Lelouch, whose career mixes genuine crowdpleasers with self-indulgent messes. Sadly, Ces Amours-La/What Love May Bring - opportunistically retitled What War May Bring and sold as a bloody saga of wartime honour and courage for UK home video - is one of the later. Like his earlier Les Unes et Les Autres/Bolero it's a...
Published 17 months ago by Trevor Willsmer


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A flawed classic., 31 July 2011
By 
Bobby Smith (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This was a most unusual film, especially for one purporting to be a 'war' film. In reality it is a movie about a French bird and the men she loves - with often fatal consequences for the men who fall for her pretty eyes. I found the first 30 minutes to be a tad confusing, and the constant bursts of music were a distraction for me from the story itself. However, the rich dramatic twists and turns more than made up for this. My wife told me after watching it that "only the French could make a war film like that" and I think she has a point. The limited action scenes, for me, did not feel authentic but the central story of the plot ensured that I stayed with it until the end. All in all this is a film that will appeal to people who like human interest stories rather than rat-a-tat action.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another lavishly budgeted but often shapeless jumble of incidents and characters from Claude Lelouch at his most self-indulgent, 14 May 2013
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Few directors are as maddeningly inconsistent as Claude Lelouch, whose career mixes genuine crowdpleasers with self-indulgent messes. Sadly, Ces Amours-La/What Love May Bring - opportunistically retitled What War May Bring and sold as a bloody saga of wartime honour and courage for UK home video - is one of the later. Like his earlier Les Unes et Les Autres/Bolero it's a lavishly budgeted but often shapeless jumble of incidents and characters spanning much of the 20th Century with the Second World War the key point of reference but without the strong sense of character and eventual destination that made his earlier Toute une Vie work so much better.

Despite the opening scrawl talking of his love of cinema, the opening montage of half-formed vignettes - rather clumsily scored by a dark bolero that sounds like it was written for a different film altogether - jumping rapidly from the birth of cinema, silent porn, the arrival of talkies and newsreels of Hitler via a brief excursion to WW1 are woefully unconvincing, though from the appearance of Marilyn Monroe in her Seven Year Itch dress and hairstyle in a pre-war scene realism clearly isn't the idea here. Unfortunately he doesn't manage to pull off a dreamlike collision of memories and fantasies either, simply coming up with ham-fisted melodrama with decent production values and ample opportunities to display his love for classic songs and their singers. At times it looks like he's clumsily setting up the characters so he can get down to the story, but no sooner has he introduced a new one than he's off on another tangent, even going back more than a century to a Texas land rush at one point. The overriding impression is that he's making every film as if it were his last, but not in a good way that results in a lovingly crafted piece of work but as if he throws in all the things he ever wanted to put into a movie whether they fit in the very loose story he's chosen to tell or not.

The story is weak melodrama at best, with neither the filmmaking or competent but uninspired cast able to compensate enough for it not to matter when it finally gets going. The clumsy framing device doesn't help, with co-composer (with Francis Lai) Laurent Couson's Jewish lawyer defending Audrey Dana's cinema usher turned trophy wife from a murder charge by launching into a long history of not only his client's life but also his own, right down to his parents' courtship and his time as a pianist in the officer's mess at Auschwitz. Although she later says her problem is that she falls in love too easily, Dana turns out to be a bit of a Paris bicycle, having an affair with the Nazi officer who spares the life of her projectionist and resistance fighter stepfather (Dominique Pinon) before shacking up with both the rich white war correspondent (Gilles Lemaire) and the black G.I. (Jacky Ido) who saved his life in a ménage a trois (meeting cute when they save her from having her hair shaved during a screening of Gone with the Wind) that ends badly when one takes advantage of the confusion of battle to eliminate the competition. Not that it does him any good once he starts having nightmares about the war and she promptly walks out on him and finds yet another lover. According to the behind the scenes featurette on the DVD and Blu-ray she's a truly modern woman and each of these men fulfils a different need in her, but it's easy to think of a different description for her.

The resources are there, with large numbers of extras and occassional spectacle even if much of it is borrowed footage from his earlier films, but it's never very convincingly or adventurously staged. Post-Saving Private Ryan the brief combat scenes are performed like something out of a bad "Bang Bang You're Dead" B-movie aimed at schoolkids that somehow could afford Cinemascope, Technicolor and a few hundred more extras, what we see of the concentration camps is rather clean and well fed and even the camerawork is less adventurous than usual for Lelouch, with none of his trademark elaborate tracking shots and all too often staying at a remove from the scene rather than drawing you in. It's only at the end with a couple of unexpected musical numbers intruding on reality and the revelation that the young Lelouch is a minor character whose work will be forever influenced by the first kiss he films while two characters finally come together and sing the same song that's been running through the film that you get some sense of what he was trying to do with it all.

Using archive footage of Charles Denner for one character's father is a nice touch and there are brief moments from earlier Lelouch films weaved in along the way to place the story firmly in his existing cinematic universe - the Normandy landings from his masterly version of Les Miserables, the liberation party from Les Unes et Les Autres, the land race from Another Man, Another Chance, a boxing bout from Edith et Marcel and a whole Cinema Paradiso montage of all the lovers from his earlier films near the end that unfortunately just reminds you of the days when he could still attract major stars, who are conspicuous by their absence here aside from a thankless bit part for his old Un Homme et Une Femme muse Anouk Aimée. (You almost wonder if Lelouch isn't all too aware of the fact: near the film's end one character tells him "I hope one day you'll film real actors.")

There are a few moments that almost work: the lawyer who was denounced by his neighbours for playing his piano too loud confronting the woman who denounced a Jewish family who didn't lend her their sewing machine often enough and asking her if she knows what it really cost, as well as a scene where the music he plays at an audition for a music conservatoire brings unwelcome memories flooding back and there's a neat symmetry to the film beginning with the first movie camera and ending with an audience leaving the cinema, but they're passing moments that never have the power intended because the characters never seemed convincing enough to care about in the first place once bad things start happening to them. You never feel you've taken the journey with them, more that you've glimpsed them briefly from a speeding train passing through the countryside.

Revolver's region-free Blu-ray is as inconsistent as the film itself. While it's never excellent, much of the film has decent picture quality but some of the darker scenes are very flat and suffer from digital noise, though the 2.35:1 widescreen transfer is at least both in its proper ratio (not always guaranteed with this label) and has a good English subtitle translation. The only extra is the 15-minute featurette. Unless it's going for the same price on both formats you can probably safely get this one on DVD without feeling you're missing out on superior picture quality.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Love than War., 7 Jun 2011
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
If you are being guided by the front of the DVD cover for this film, then ignore the bottom half, because apart from a couple of pretty tame scenes there is very little action in it, except of the romantic sort highlighted in the top half. This film is all about relationships and character development, at which it succeeds pretty well. It follows the life and loves of a young cinema usher, played quite brilliantly by Audrey Dana, during the upheaval of the German occupation of France during World War Two. Dana certainly has a few loves and is unusually liberated even for a French woman, given that more innocent era. Yes I know, some had fun even then! She happily jumps into bed with two men, and then decides, like you do, to toss a coin for which one to marry. An unusual marriage arrangement to say the least! Her decision to have an affair with a German officer turns out to be an unwise one. The film carries many strands which can be confusing at times, but which do come neatly together by the end. It was ten years in production, and the director Claude Lelouch has clearly put much time and energy into this very personal project.

There is much to admire in the film beside the delightfully exuberant Dana. The musical score is simply superb, with some richly evocative French music of the period. Like the Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore, LeLouch was also clearly besotted by the cinema of the period, which is never far away in the film. There is a memorable scene where the German officer plays La Marseillaise, on what to use a technical term, looked an engorged mouth organ in the Nazi headquarters, and another surreal one where the cast members do a song and dance routine near the end. Lelouche has been accused of self indulgence by some critics and they do have a point. At the start of the film we are informed that the director has made 43 films, and at the end we are shown clips from what seemed to be all of them. It is as if the director is trying to vindicate his lifes work to anyone willing to watch, also indicating to us that this may be his last film. John Wayne's last film "The Shootist" also showed a number of clips from his past films as homage to his screen legend. Other directors have already made semi autobiographical films. Tornatore's own recent "Baaria", about his Sicilian childhood was an expensive piece of bland reminiscing. That director's love of cinema was showcased in his sentimental "Cinema Paradiso", with an unforgettable sequence of famous screen kisses. A sequence that happens to be an all time favourite of mine! Frederico Fellini's thoughtful "Amarcord" was a more mature work. This film falls somewhere in between these two films. At times it is too clever for its own good, but as a character study it kept me involved and got better as it progressed. 3.7 stars rounded up to a generous 4.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pure Marmite, 20 May 2014
By 
This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is produced,scripted and directed by the renowned Frenchman Claude Lelouch who has a long list of successful French films on his C.V.

The trouble is that Lelouch has had such a massive input in the making of this production that it is a very personal view of events and therefore not everyones cup of tea in my view.

The story stretches from the 1st World War well into and through the D-Day landings of World War 2.
There is much shifting about from sub plot to main storyline and then to another sub plot:Lelouch seems to try to frame too many stories into this one film:the thought came to me that if you try too hard to hit the target you miss,its as simple as that.
This is a big miss.
One oddity that I noticed was the African-American paratroopers shown in the film at the D-Day landings.This is totally incorrect.No Blacks served in the fighting units of the U.S. bar one Air Force Squadron.
The whole film came over to me as a bit of a mish-mash.If you want to see a well balanced,beautifully structured French film set during WW2 I'd recommend Melville's Army of Shadows [DVD] or Berri's Lucie Aubrac [1997].
P.S. I'm indebited to Terrence A Gardner of Maryland,USA for pointing out to me that black soldiers DID serve in the US army for the last few months of the war following the high losses sustained by the US army at Bastogne late 1944.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Love May Bring, 4 May 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This is rumoured to be the last film by renowned (and oft criticised) French film director Claude Lelouch. The original title is `Ces amours-la' or `What love may bring'. It may be cynical of me, but the new title seems to be an attempt to sell this as a war film, which it really is not. It is a character based drama which happens to have World War II France as its setting. It is also a film about choices, guilt, obsession, betrayal and love.

The basic synopsis is that a Cinema usher Ilve Lemoine (Audrey Dana) seems to fall in love at the proverbial drop of a hat, as this is the 1940's there were considerably more hats around than the present day, which she seems to take full advantage of.

It starts with a Nazi officer and then sort of rollercoasts from there. Music and cinema are at the heart of everything in this and the score is sumptuous. She invariably falls for different men and do not get me wrong you can tell that she is seriously in love. Her romances are told against the changing backdrop of the War as she then gets involved with the liberating Americans. The story of the French Jews who were deported to Auschwitz also comes into play and intertwines her fate with theirs. The questions of state or self are left for us to decide as well as many other conscience choices.

There is some action including a montage of the Normandy landings, but please do not be fooled by the title or indeed the cover, except the snogging bit.

Lelouch has been criticised for his use of his past work in clips and as backdrop throughout the film. The cry is that he is making a semi documentary of his past work which detracts from the film. I did not get that at all, and actually found the entire film to be a work of love and art, I was swept away by it. It is a two hour film which just melted past and the language was effortless, it is in French, German and English with good subtitles with the ever present non literal translation. If you want a war film then best to avoid, if you want sumptuous drama with a great attention to detail (it was in production for ten years) then you really can not go wrong. I sincerely hope this is not the last film from the Oscar winner that is Claude Lelouch - marvellous.
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1.0 out of 5 stars what rubbish may come, 28 Jan 2014
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S. Alexander (new zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
all over the place no cohesion at all fantasy poor acting ho hum war action not worth the time to watch
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2.0 out of 5 stars POOR FILM, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
When you view films it is as reading you realise whether it is going to be really interesting or not. This film was not.
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4.0 out of 5 stars accept this film as a love story with great music, 24 Oct 2014
This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Ok forget the Hercules and the dodgy tanks, accept this film as a love story with great music. I loved it. Worth buying -forget Private Ryan & just enjoy a nice film.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not what it seems, 16 July 2014
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This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Not anything like the cover suggests, very mixed up, complicated and hard to watch,
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars c'est ok, 11 Mar 2013
By 
B. L. Rudd "GUITARIST" (FRANCE) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Fairly light weight movie, entertaining, possiblely a bit silly in places. The saving grace is a fantastic sound track played by ace French musicians.
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What War May Bring [DVD] [2010]
What War May Bring [DVD] [2010] by Claude LeLouch (DVD - 2011)
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