TONIGHT OR NEVER (1961) [feature]

France (MIFF 2009 , Anna Karina)
Director: Michel Deville

Rarely screened, Tonight or Never features Anna Karina in her first major non-Godard role.

The plans for a theatre production are tested when the lead actress falls ill - who will play the role? For shy Valérie (Karina) it's a matter of tonight or never.

As the performers scheme, bicker and flirt, chinks in relationships are exposed, and the delicate cast dynamic threatens to crumble in the face of deceit, lust, ambition and rampant cattiness.

Michel Deville's light romantic comedy captures an incandescent Karina, who transforms from mousey wallflower into magnetic coquette over the course of the film, and easily eclipses her co-stars in a dénouement that is one of her defining screen moments.

--- D Michel Deville P/S Michel Deville, Nina Companéez WS Gaumont L French w/English subtitles TD 16mm/1961

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