6.6/10
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Life Is a Bed of Roses (1983)

La vie est un roman (original title)
Three intertwined tales. On the eve of the First World War, Count Forbek starts to build a fantastic castle in the Ardennes forest. After the war he uses it to start a utopian society by ... See full summary »

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3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Robert Dufresne
...
Élisabeth Rousseau
Robert Manuel ...
Georges Leroux
Martine Kelly ...
Claudine Obertin
Samson Fainsilber ...
Zoltán Forbek
Véronique Silver ...
Nathalie Holberg
...
Guillaume Boisseau ...
Frédéric
Sabine Thomas ...
Marie
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu ...
School Teacher
Rodolphe Schacher ...
Pierre
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Storyline

Three intertwined tales. On the eve of the First World War, Count Forbek starts to build a fantastic castle in the Ardennes forest. After the war he uses it to start a utopian society by brainwashing his friends, including his former fiancee, Livia, and her husband. In the present day, the castle is being used as an alternative school and, in the summer holidays, for an educational conference. At the conference, the American Nora Winkle bets Claudine that the ernest public school teacher Elisabeth Rousseau will be enticed into the bed of Robert Dufresne, even though the principal speaker, Walter Guarini, is obviously interested in Elisabeth. Meanwhile, the children staying at the castle over the holidays invent their own medieval tale about freeing prisoners from the dungeons. Written by Will Gilbert

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Genres:

Drama | Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 April 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Life Is a Bed of Roses  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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Trivia

While old fashioned Kodak film was used for the 1910s scenes and legendary period, modern Fuji film was shot for the 1982 storyline, opposing dreamlike effects of the former to realism of the latter. See more »

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User Reviews

 
2 utopian/idealistic experiments are contrasted... with fallible human beings responsible for results
29 March 2005 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

A utopian experiment around the time of World War 1 is contrasted with an educational concourse/seminar of today. Both experiments look at idealistic solutions for the problems humans have of living with one another. Both experiments are "polluted" by idealism itself and by the very real human beings who take part in the experiments. Making a movie about philosophy is strange enough.... but this movie is a MUSICAL... and the music is lovely. The most interesting thing is that the tragedy and madness of the first experiment is contrasted with the comedy of the failure of the second experiment to make a broad statement about the inevitable failure of idealism in a world of fallible human beings. This technique is similar to Griffith's cutting in Intolerance.... Even as you laugh at the comedy, you can see how easy it would have been to fall into tragedy. The film is a perfect delight that sticks with you.

The two utopian experiments are contrasted with a medieval story that seems to comment on the other two stories....In fact, the medieval story is an idealistic view of the world as the children see it. So there are, in fact, three ideals contrasted. This makes for a very complicated structure which you may ignore if you just want to watch the interactions of the characters or listen to the delightful music.


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