6.6/10
1,295
9 user 15 critic

Swann in Love (1984)

Un amour de Swann (original title)
Elegant and educated bachelor, Charles Swann, moves in the most powerful and fashionable circles of Paris in the 1890's. When he falls in love with Odette de Crecy, a courtesan, his friends... See full summary »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Wild Duck (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A loving family's world is shattered by an old friend's arrival, carrying a dark secret.

Director: Henri Safran
Stars: Liv Ullmann, Jeremy Irons, Lucinda Jones
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Screen version of the play written in 1728 of the same name, portrays the underworld of Mafia-like gangsters and the rivalry and animosity between the various different gangs.

Director: Jirí Menzel
Stars: Josef Abrhám, Mahulena Bocanová, Jana Brezková
Chinese Box (1997)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of Hong Kong, from New Year's Day to June 30th, 1997, when the British left their colony and turned it over to the People's Republic of China.

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Li Gong, Maggie Cheung
Betrayal (1983)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Pinter's semi-autobiographical play examining the surprise attraction, shy first steps, gradual flowering, and treasonous deception of a woman's extramarital affair with her husband's best ... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, Patricia Hodge
Australia (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Australia is about Edouard Pierson, a Belgian-born wool dealer who emigrated to Australia after World War Two. The movie actual takes place in Belgium as he returns to his homeland to ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Jacques Andrien
Stars: Fanny Ardant, Jeremy Irons, Tchéky Karyo
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is on his deathbed. Looking at photographs brings memories of his childhood, his youth, his lovers, and the way the Great War put an end to a stratum of society. ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Béart, Vincent Perez
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A man new to a smallish British town joins an amateur theatre company. Once there, he discovers that the drama on stage is quite often nothing compared to what's happening behind the scenes... See full summary »

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Briers
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Laschen, a German journalist, travels to the city of Beirut during the fights between Christians and Palestinians to produce an essay about the situation. Together with his photographer, he... See full summary »

Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Stars: Bruno Ganz, Hanna Schygulla, Jean Carmet
Nijinsky (1980)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in the early 1910s at a time of passionate artistic experimentalism, and based on biographical fact, this is the story of Vaslav Nijinsky, the young and brilliant but headstrong premier... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne
Flic Story (1975)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This movie depicts the authentic story of the hunt for the dangerous criminal Emile Buisson, who escaped from prison in 1947. During three years Buisson manages to hide from detective ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Deray
Stars: Alain Delon, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Renato Salvatori
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1789, when the Revolution went on, a bandit named "Black Tulip" held the surroundings of village Roussillon in fear. The poor people respected him as Robin Hood, who declare himself a ... See full summary »

Director: Christian-Jaque
Stars: Alain Delon, Virna Lisi, Dawn Addams
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A countess' unrequited love for an army officer leads to disaster.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Stars: Matthias Habich, Margarethe von Trotta, Rüdiger Kirschstein
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Marie-Christine Barrault ...
Anne Bennent ...
Chloe
Nathalie Juvet ...
Charlotte Kerr ...
Sous-maitresse
Catherine Lachens ...
Philippine Pascal ...
Madame Gallardon
...
Madame de Cambremer
Nicolas Baby ...
Young Jew
...
Jacques Boudet ...
Jean-Pierre Coffe ...
Aime
Edit

Storyline

Elegant and educated bachelor, Charles Swann, moves in the most powerful and fashionable circles of Paris in the 1890's. When he falls in love with Odette de Crecy, a courtesan, his friends warn him against marriage. Proving himself a silly and socially-foul goose, Swann ducks his social responsibilities, Odette ensnares him, and he is gently but firmly cast out of society amidst everyone's great politeness. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Volker Schlöndorff's Masterly Film

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

23 February 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Swann in Love  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of a number of filmed literary adaptations of director Volker Schlöndorff who is well-known for adapting literature into film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Gap-Toothed Women (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fails to capture Proust's depth and poetry
31 July 2012 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

In Volker Schlondorff's Swann in Love, Jeremy Irons is Charles Swann, a cultured aristocrat who is in love with Odette de Crécy (Ornella Muti), an alluring courtesan. Much to his undying frustration, however, Odette shares her pleasures with numerous men and women, keeping the passionate Charles at arms length while continuing to take advantage of his cultural and financial largesse. Written by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carriere and Marie-Helene Estienne, the film is an adaptation of the second part of Swann's Way, the first book of Marcel Proust's epic seven-volume masterpiece In Search of Lost Time.

Set in Paris in the 1880s, the film is a recollection by a now aged Swann of a single day in his life as he attends dinner parties and salons, mingles with the upper crust, and pursues his courtship of Odette. Though Madame Verdurin (Marie-Christine Barrault), a fixture at the gatherings, sees Swann as unworthy of Odette and has unkind words about him, he evokes sympathy from the Duchesse de Guermantes (Fanny Ardant) who appears to also have designs on him. Swann's love for Odette feels a bit obsessive when he compares her face to a Botticelli face in a painting in the Sistine Chapel, yet we may be able to recall in our own life how love can be all consuming to the point where the lover takes on attributes far beyond the reality of their true nature.

Swann in Love is a valiant attempt to translate a literary masterpiece into film and is strongly supported by the cinematography of Sven Nykvist, yet it fails to capture Proust's depth of characterization, artistic imagination, or poetic sensibility, opting instead for superficial posturing, long glances, and shallow voice-overs. The highly educated and artistically sophisticated Swann, in a lifeless performance by Irons, is depicted as little more than a humorless snob who is rejected by others of his social station because of his love for Odette, but who continues to pursue her out of obsession or sheer obstinacy. In the reality of Proust, however, his love for her is so deep that he can overlook almost any flaw in her makeup, her constant lying, her lack of appreciation of art, music, and poetry, and her broad tastes in sensual pleasure.

There are others ways that Schlondorff gets it wrong. Although Odette is in fact a courtesan with all that it implies, she is hardly the unintelligent tart depicted in Muti's characterization. Also, the homosexual affair of the Baron de Charlus (Alain Delon) does not become part of Proust's story until many volumes later and does not belong in the film. One would think that, at the very least, the director would utilize a late romantic work of Gabriel Fauré or Camille Saint-Saens as the model for the enchanting sonata by the fictional composer Vinteuil that brings Charles and Odette together, yet Schlondorff instead opts for the modern atonal music of Hans Werner Henze, a choice that feels totally incongruent with the place and time. With all due respect for Schlondorff's valiant attempt to translate Proust into film, Swann in Love is one effort that should have remained on the drawing board with a "someday" tag attached.


6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dubbing Pamela-5
Discuss Swann in Love (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?