August 30, 1999 12:00 PM

Carole Bouquet, Daniel Auteuil

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Early in this World War II romantic thriller based on the exploits of a real-life heroine of the French Resistance, in a scene that is the cinematic equivalent of using a yellow highlighter, the title character (Bouquet) instructs her pupils at a girl’s school on why it is important to study women’s roles in history. Soon after, she herself will play a small but vital role in history when she hatches a daring plan to rescue her beloved hubby (Auteuil), also active in the Resistance, after he is imprisoned by the Nazis and sentenced to die.

Equal parts thriller and love story, director-writer Claude Berri’s Lucie Aubrac is a stirring reminder of the all-too-human sacrifices made during wartime. Bouquet, a French actress best known to Americans for the Chanel perfume commercial in which she morphs into Marilyn Monroe, gives a wonderfully glamorous and yet steely performance as Aubrac, a woman who knew lipstick and cunning were sometimes more powerful weapons than guns. What Joan Crawford wouldn’t have given to play this role. (R)

Bottom Line: Fighting the Nazis never looked so good

Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember


Marcello Mastroianni enjoyed his job as a movie star. “They pay you to play,” says the Italian actor in this film, shot in 1996 just months before he died at age 72. Directed by Anna Maria Tato, his longtime companion, the three-hour-plus I Remember is less a documentary than a reminiscence, with Mastroianni eloquently musing about his 170-plus film career (including such classics as La Dolce Vita and Divorce, Italian Style), decrying his Latin Lover label and recalling his motivation (“You want to buy a yacht”) for making some stinkers. Although Remember is wanting as history (the film clips used aren’t identified), Mastroianni proves charming company. (No rating)

Bottom Line: A loving, if long, goodbye

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