7 user 8 critic

Empty Days (1999)

Rien à faire (original title)
An executive and a dowdy working-class woman, both unemployed, married and parents meet at a supermarket. They become friends but find it hard to accept that they may be in love with each other.


2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Dell'Isola ...
Florence Thomassin ...
Kelly Hornoy ...
Marion des Fachelles ...
Jérémy Bourgois ...
Chloé Mons ...
Alexandre Carrière ...
Farida Rahouadj ...
Marie, the neighbour
Josette Hemsen ...
Philippe Peltier ...
Frédérique Hazard ...
Jo Hochain ...
Sarah Hamoud ...
Colleague in canteen


An executive and a dowdy working-class woman, both unemployed, married and parents meet at a supermarket. They become friends but find it hard to accept that they may be in love with each other.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

1 December 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Empty Days  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


C'est Si Peu Dire Que Je T'aime
Written by Ted Scotto
Performed by Ted Scotto
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User Reviews

Exquisite sensuality
10 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

Two people, unemployed, bore themselves to death, doing errands, visiting cafés, cleaning houses. One thing leads to another.

I read only two kinds of responses to this film: either you dislike it a lot, either you like it a lot. Either you find it clichéd and boring, either you find it sensitive and humanistic. I greatly enjoyed it so I am from the second group of viewers.

This is not a film about positive, successful, special skilled people. These are just ordinary people without a job. Like many people are. We follow them in their everyday struggle, and, eventually, their affair. But not the usual boring dramatic kind of struggle, with a lot of tears and crying, as you see often in cinema. It is a lighthearted and sensitive portrait.

What I really enjoyed was the sweetness of their spontaneous love affair. Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Patrick Dell'Isola are both exceptionally good in this film. Especially Bruni-Tedeschi. She has an incredible subtle change of her countenance every time. I rarely have seen someone playing uncertain as well as she does here. But Dell'Isola is also very convincing: cool and depressed at the same time. With actors of this range it is inevitable to end with a cute film about love and intimacy.

Yes, this is a love affair as we have already seen a thousand times, and yes, a couple of scenes are a bit predictable (especially the break-up halfway). But then cinema is not always story, is it? It is about images, and the exquisite sensuality of their meetings are, for me, way more interesting than the story. It's all about acting here. This kind of believable and charming characters are very rare in cinema. I can recall Ma nuit chez Maude, but not many other films. I rate it 8/10, mostly for sensitivity.

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