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Muriel, or The Time of Return (1963)

Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 13 March 2007 (USA)
In the seacoast town of Boulogne, Hélène sells antique furniture, living with her step-son, Bernard, who's back from military duty in Algiers. An old lover of Hélène's comes to visit - ... See full summary »

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jean-Pierre Kérien ...
Alphonse Noyard
Nita Klein ...
Françoise
Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée ...
Bernard Aughain (as Jean-Baptiste Thierrée)
Claude Sainval ...
Roland de Smoke
Laurence Badie ...
Claudie
Jean Champion ...
Ernest
Jean Dasté ...
L'homme à la chèvre / The Goat Man
Martine Vatel ...
Marie-Dominique, aka Marie-Do
Julien Verdier ...
Le loueur de chevaux / The Stableman
...
Robert
Nelly Borgeaud ...
La femme du couple d'acheteurs
Catherine de Seynes ...
Angèle
Gaston Joly ...
Antoine, le tailleur / Antoine the Tailor
Gérard Lorin ...
Marc
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Storyline

In the seacoast town of Boulogne, Hélène sells antique furniture, living with her step-son, Bernard, who's back from military duty in Algiers. An old lover of Hélène's comes to visit - Alphonse - with his niece Françoise; he too is back from Algiers, where he ran a café. Bernard speaks of his fiancée, Muriel, whom Hélène has not met. The narrative, like memory and intention, is jumpy, the past obscured by guilt, misperceptions, and missed possibilities. Appearances deceive, things change. As Hélène and Alphonse try to sort out a renewal, everyone seems off-kilter just enough to hint that all cannot end well. Can anyone know another? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Taglines:

From Alain Resnais, Creator of "Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Last Year at Marienbad" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Muriel, or The Time of Return  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When polled by the AFI filmmaker Randa Haines named "Muriel" as her all-time favorite film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Peppermint Soda (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Sujux Day
By Georges Delerue
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User Reviews

 
A world gone by
13 February 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It's about 50 years since I first saw Muriel; in those days the wounds of the Algerian war were still fresh: bodies of Algerian immigrants were found floating in rivers, Sartre's apartment was fire-bombed because he'd supported Algerian independence and so on. Resnais had enough reason to make a film about those troubled days. The trouble with the film has to do with the uneasy juxtaposition of domestic drama (the unhappy love of Hélène and Alphonse) with the ordeal of Bernard and Robert in Algeria, and the dead girl over whom Bernard obsesses. The love story is so much more interesting than the political theme that we are left frustrated with the necessity of ignoring the latter to the benefit of the former.

Delphine Seyrig gives a wonderful performance as Hélène; she's always in movement, trying to calm Bernard down, trying to coax some emotion out of the stony Alphonse, on the phone with Claudie cadging some money to gamble at the casino (she's not good about repaying debts). Jean Champion shows up in the second half as Ernest, Alphonse's brother-in-law, trying to bring him back to a sense of his duties to his family. He sings that wonderful song at the lunch party, then launches into an angry tirade about Alphonse's dereliction of duty. It's a superb performance. Nita Klein as Françoise is appropriately prickly, analyzing her options as she sees Alphonse sliding away from her. Claude Sainval is very oily as de Smoke, a man who can't stop thinking about the money he's lost on a derelict building: ''can't even get the doorknobs from it''


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