La Règle du Jeu

Octave with pilot André and Christine

The usual description of Jean Renoir’s 1939 classic La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) as a swingeing/coruscating/blistering (or some such) indictment of the ruling class on the eve of the Second World War misses something – it’s a farce, and a funny one, done at breakneck speed. Sure, the swingeing etc etc stuff is there, but it’s more a background, a bass drone. Equally important is what’s going on up top. Here, the brilliance of Renoir’s direction is most obvious. The plot gathers a bunch of (mostly) highly entitled, frivolous, selfish characters and sequesters them in a chateau for the weekend, where clandestine affairs and class-warfare skirmishes are conducted below … Read more