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The Green Ray
Directed by Eric Rohmer • 1986 • France
Starring Marie Rivière, María Luisa García, Vincent Gauthier
Eric Rohmer captures the ache of summertime sadness with exquisite poignancy in this luminous tale of self-exploration. The Jules Verne novel of the same name provides the loose inspiration for the story of Delphine (Marie Rivière), a dreamy, introverted young secretary who, reeling from a breakup with her boyfriend, faces the anxiety-inducing prospect of spending her summer vacation alone. As she bounces from a getaway in Cherbourg to the tourist-choked Alps to the sunny beaches of Biarritz, Delphine passes through a whirl of social activity—but through it all remains profoundly alone, searching for the true human connection that seems to perpetually elude her. As honest a portrait of loneliness, depression, and the longing for understanding as has ever been committed to film, THE GREEN RAY stands as one of the most piercingly perceptive works by the French cinema’s keenest observer of human relationships.