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Un Coeur en Hiver (1992)
"Un coeur en hiver" (original title)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  4 June 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 6,933 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 38 critic

Beautiful violin virtuoso Camille has two obsessions: the music of Ravel, and a friend of her husband's who crafts violins. But his heart seems to be as cold as her playing is passionate.



(scenario and dialogue), (scenario and dialogue), 2 more credits »
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Title: Un Coeur en Hiver (1992)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 15 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Élizabeth Bourgine ...
Hélène (as Elizabeth Bourgine)
Brigitte Catillon ...
Myriam Boyer ...
Mme. Amet
Jean-Claude Bouillaud
Dominique De Williencourt ...
Jeffrey Grice
Luben Yordanoff
Nanou Garcia
François Domange
Van Doude
Jacques Villa


Beautiful violin virtuoso Camille has two obsessions: the music of Ravel, and a friend of her husband's who crafts violins. But his heart seems to be as cold as her playing is passionate. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 June 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un Coeur en Hiver  »

Box Office


$1,666,511 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Emmanuelle Béart actually learned how to play the violin for the part. See more »


Featured in Claude Sautet or the Invisible Magic (2003) See more »


Musique extraite des Sonates et Trio
de Maurice Ravel
Durand S.A. Editions Musicales et A.R.I.M.A. Ltd
Direction musicale Philippe Sarde
Enregistrée aux Studios Guillaume Tell par Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Howard Shelley,
Keith Harvey
See more »

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User Reviews

A very sad film but beautifully realized
2 June 2002 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

Brother, can you spare a heart?

In Un Coeur en Hiver, the late Claude Sautet looks into the heart of Stephane, a master violin craftsman (Daniel Auteuil), and finds only ice. Stephane is an observer of life, not a participant. The film reveals the consequences of his emotional isolation, of what he has to give up in order to maintain his solitude.

Un Coeur en Hiver is as far from a typical Hollywood romance as Casablanca is from L'Avventura. The film is almost a revisionist portrayal of the usual debonair French romantic lover. While the lovely sonatas and trios of Maurice Ravel form a haunting background, there is a lifeless quality to Stephane and ennui is a palpable presence throughout.

Stephane seems ready to leap into a passionate relationship with a beautiful young violinist, Camille (Emmanuelle Beart) after Maxim, his partner for many years (also in love with Camille), introduces her to Stephane. Stephane, however, is unable to relate to Maxim's friendship or to his growing attraction to Camille and becomes distant and manipulative.

Held back by his reluctance to take risks, his relationship with Camille provides him with the forms of intimacy but without the substance. No pat psychological interpretation is provided but is left to the viewer to interpret. The camera is reserved and intimate. For the most part, emotions are conveyed through glances, expressions, and silences rather than dialogue.

The scene where Camille finally explodes out of frustration over Stephane's emotional distance, however, is powerful, yet is not enough to shake the reluctant lover from his hiding place. At a restaurant, Camille tells Stephanie, "He says he likes music because "music is dreams". "Poor jerk", she blurts out, "You know nothing about dreams". Pointing to his heart, she says, "There is nothing in there, nothing. No imagination, no heart, no balls". Stephane simply sits there with a half grin on his face. I could really feel Camille's frustration in trying to pluck fruit from a barren tree.

Auteuil's outstanding performance makes him a likable figure, a really sweet guy but a very sad one. I felt repeatedly like shaking him from his lethargy and exposing him to joy and the rhythmic beauty of life, perhaps adding a little Mozart to his Ravel.

At the end, however, there is some character development. Stephane finally recognizes that "there is something lifeless inside of me." As his friends depart, he is left sitting alone at a restaurant table, poignantly feeling his loneliness. Perhaps this insight is the beginning of his transformation. A very sad film but beautifully realized.

44 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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