The Mother and the Whore


Jean Eustache’s biggest claim to fame—or, in some circles, notoriety—is this endlessly captivating, dialogue-driven, lightly autobiographical masterpiece. Jean-Pierre Léaud perfectly embodies Alexandre, a hangdog romantic who eventually becomes involved in a three-way affair with two women, played by Bernadette Lafont and Françoise Lebrun. A blistering yet humane portrait of post–May ’68 waywardness and sexual discontent, The Mother and the Whore is a caustically funny and intellectually rich film that generates partisans whenever it screens. Filmmaker Philippe Garrel wrote, “Jean Eustache is a genius. The Mother and the Whore is the Rules of the Game of our generation.”