Jacques, a former porn director is while he attempts to reconcile with his estranged son, and deals with regrets about his life's work cause him to split from his wife.
The Pornographer uses its provocative title and hardcore footage merely as the backdrop to a rather typical study of male mid-life crisis. When you're retired and run out of funds, you often have to return to the workplace you left, so many years before. When you used to a Porn director in teh 60's and 70's and the contemporary Porn industry has now abandoned all pretext of plot, style and substance for hardcore sex, this can prove a disturbing experience.
Léaud (enshrined in French cinema history as Antoine Doinel in five of Francois Truffaut's films) is superb as Jacques, dragged reluctantly back into the industry. Mostly the film focuses on Jacques' attempts to reconcile with his estranged son, while his regrets about his life's work cause him to split from his wife. Léaud slumps magnificently under the weight of Jacques' heavy soul, but the general tone is too self-important for a film with so little new to say.
Despite an impressive lead performance this takes itself a little too seriously for what it is.