女を楽しくするニュースサイト「ウーマンライフ WEB 版」

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年上の女(1958年)【社会派・女性映画】 Room at the Top (1958)


監督 ジャック・クレイトン/Director: Jack Clayton
出演 シモーヌ・シニョレ、ローレンス・ハーヴェイ/Starring: Simone Signoret‚ Laurence Harvey


▼メルヴィル監督のもとでシモーヌの演技は見事だった。あの大きな瞳を見開いてじっと見つめる、それだけで「影の軍隊」は深みができた。本作のシモーヌは悲劇的です。シモーヌって大人の女問題児みたいで、彼女が主人公でスンナリ幸福になる映画ってあった? なにかを引きずる影のある女、なにかを企む不届きな女の役が多いのだけど、結局のところシモーヌはシモーヌ、に落着するのです

Simone is Simone

What do Simone Signoret‚ Jeanne Moreau and Romy Schneider have in common? They’re all proficient in a foreign language and have each won famous film awards. But that means nothing; when made to perform as evil women‚ the trio are second to none.

When Simone won the Oscar for Best Lead Actress she asked the reporters‚ “Who won the Oscar two years ago?” They couldn’t answer and she was quick to say‚ “You see? That’s what the Oscars are like.” But she must have been happy because she was in (rare) high spirits. Another point the trio have in common is that they all dislike The Actors Studio as if they had agreed upon it. They heavily criticised the prestigious American performance school. In saying so‚ Europeans in the film industry don’t suit the teaching methods and directorial techniques of The Actors Studio. Jean-Pierre Melville (director of The Red Circle and Army of Shadows) also hates it. It really seemed as if he was saying that the acting was overly exaggerated and thus didn’t let Alain Delon talk much in The Samurai (1967).

Simone’s acting under director Melville was brilliant. Just by opening and gazing with her big eyes brought depth to Army of Shadows. In this film Simone is tragic. She’s like a adult problem child; was there a film where she‚ as the protagonist‚ simply became happy? Although she is often cast as a woman with a dragging shadow‚ or a scheming and rude woman‚ in the end Simone is Simone.

When watching this film you can feel it being of an era where women were made to cry. Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey) is a man burning with ambition who tries but fails to charm a rich‚ young beauty. But he isn’t one to waste; there is an older woman‚ Alice (Simone Signoret). The man (Joe) takes what he pleases and isn’t hurt at all. Alice’s husband is having an affair with a younger woman. Because Simone’s acting is magnificent‚ the pitiful position of women (Alice) doesn’t stand out. Her husband is a really good-for-nothing man‚ but she doesn’t lose any grace when smoking a cigarette. She has a full bust‚ slender legs‚ flowing blonde hair‚ and perfect English mixed with French for fun.

Jack Clayton made few films but his best works are The Great Gatsby and The Innocents. This film’s title “Room at the Top” (translator’s note: the Japanese title is literally An Older Woman) refers to the highest room that successful people reside. I take off my hat to the sense of calling it “An Older Woman”. It captures the essence of the film. Thereafter‚ the word “an older woman” was included as a basic term in society.