Eric Rohmer's Ma Nuit chez Maud deals … explicitly with Jansenism; the characters discuss and analyze it in relation to modern Christianity, general moral attitudes, and the conduct of their own lives. Yet the film is by no means a turgid exegesis on the subject; the work is most interesting because of the way it reveals character and establishes relationships rather than for what is intellectualized. (p. 7)
Eric Rohmer's skill lies in his ability to lend aesthetic weight to visual understatement. He is sparse but not puritanical, since his use of black and white can be stunning in its unsensational candor…. (p. 9)
Rohmer is able to capture the sincerity and frankness of each gesture during conversations without arduous close-ups that call more attention to themselves than their subjects. His dialogue is neither cliched nor does it allude to pretensions beyond the limits of the film itself; his characters are not intellectuals and Rohmer is not trying to impress us with mannered profundities. Rohmer respects people and his story tells us this: he features them rather than Art….
[In] a low-keyed fashion, Rohmer's engineer has a simplistic grace all his own. His earnest conviction that God has made a "good" world, that chance … can and should have a virtuous resolution gives his life a religious design which raises him above the pain of loss and frustration. His faith is indestructible without being arrogant.
It is irrelevant that Rohmer's hero is theologically more aware of what he believes or can rationalize his feelings, the obvious factor is that he did not gain his grace from lighting votive candles or by going through the charade of traditional ceremonies.
Rohmer's hero will never divorce himself from the world or make a fatalistic gesture…. (p. 10)
It is neither pompous nor self-consciously...
(The entire section is 457 words.)