Jacques Rozier’s Du côté d’Orouët feels like what might happen if Jacques Rivette and Éric Rohmer decided to collaborate with the objective being to create a film with the narrative looseness (and length) of the former combined with the whimsy and acute awareness of youth of the latter, but arguably surpassing anything in their respective filmographies. Du côté d’Orouët is a beguiling travelogue following three friends on vacation.
Caroline Cartier, Danièle Croisy and Françoise Guégan’s charming repartee and chemistry is so naturalistic, Du côté d’Orouët can sometimes be mistaken for a documentary in which Rozier is simply observing three lifelong mates hanging out.
It is atypical of French New Wave in many ways – Caroline, Joëlle and Kareen avoid wordy articulations of their own and each other’s feelings. They are propelled, instead, by instinct and an irresistible vitality. A joyous pilgrimage that stands alongside any of the best films of the movement.