Bored with her polo-playing lover, and leading a humdrum existence with husband Henri (Cuny), housewife Jeanne (Moreau) experiences a catharsis when she spends a passionate night in the arms of the young and handsome archaeologist Bernard (Bory). The next morning, Jeanne begins to radically rethink the life she's been living. Will she indeed make a break, and is this true love?
A scandal upon its release in the U.S. and Europe, Malle's lyrical, erotic drama made a bona-fide star out of the preternaturally gorgeous Jeanne Moreau, who'd previously appeared in the director's "Elevator to the Gallows." Here, she channels Madame Bovary, updating Flaubert's frustrated protagonist to mid-twentieth century France. Sensual, liberating, and ahead of its time, "The Lovers" may seem somewhat tame by today's standards, but every bit of its poetic beauty and seductive storytelling remains intact.