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Roundabout (1989)
"Un tour de manège" (original title)

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Al and Elsa have been a couple for some time, but the chances that their relationship will be long-lived are few. For one thing, Al is appallingly dependent on Elsa for his every emotional ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thierry Gimenez ...
Daniel Jégou ...
Jean-Chrétien Sibertin-Blanc ...
Olivier Rateau
Thierry Fortineau ...
Albert Prévost ...
Brigitte Catillon ...
Directeur de la banque
Riccardo Freda ...
Ricardo, le réalisateur
Jean-Claude Lecas ...
Claire Pascal ...
Soizic Arsal ...
Michel Francini ...
Emilio Giliotti


Al and Elsa have been a couple for some time, but the chances that their relationship will be long-lived are few. For one thing, Al is appallingly dependent on Elsa for his every emotional need. For another, Elsa is an incredibly elusive person, extremely difficult to pin down about anything - especially whatever is bothering her. How they have managed to survive this long is a cause for wonder. When Al gets an opportunity to be cast in a movie role, complete with no-cost occupancy in the casting agent's ugly but fashionable apartment, he jumps at the chance to provide a little material satisfaction for his beloved Elsa. But what exactly does she want? Written by J Grimshaw

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance





Release Date:

29 March 1989 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La deuxième fois  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Daniel Auteuil had been cast in the lead role but was replaced by François Cluzet, who had worked regularly in theatre with Pierre Pradinas. See more »


When Al is seen smoking a cigarette out the window, reflection of the crew can clearly be seen in the glass of the window. See more »


References L'Atalante (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Caraxian Styled Drama...
22 September 2003 | by (Here and There) – See all my reviews

"Un Tour de Manège" is Pierre Pradinas's only film. He is however an accomplished theatre director. This shows in his film, which is at times overly theatrical in structure.

The film opens as François Cluzet's Al comes to terms with losing his girlfriend Elsa, who has walked out on him. In her absence he has returned to his old vices of drinking and gambling. He also takes the time to audition for a film.

Then Elsa, played by Juliette Binoche, returns and the pair rekindle their romance. At first things are great, but Al's bad habits soon cause problems between the pair. When Al gets the part in the film they move to a better apartment, but their problems follow them, as do a new entourage of people including the nasty Berville (Lavant) and the obsessive Rateau (Silbertain-Blanc). Quickly Al and Elsa's old problems return.

Pradinas's slight film seems lacks character development. Juliette Binoche'sElsa is a mere cipher. She is sad and melancholic, but the film never explores why this is. The character seems like an extension of her more rounded Anna in Carax's superior "Mauvais Sang". This link to Carax is furthered by the presence of Denis Lavant in a small role.

François Cluzet's Al comes off slightly better, the initial scenes give the character some depth, but this is lost later.

The film is most successful visually, with rapturous shots of Paris, as the characters interact mostly on the streets of the wonderful city.

Pradinas's film is at it's most interesting when focusing on the intimacies of the main characters - as they enjoy a cigarette on a park bench, or stare lovingly at each other over a meal, but in comparison to the Binoche/Carax films it apes, the film falls far short.

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