IMDb > Empty Days (1999) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb

Reviews & Ratings for
Empty Days More at IMDbPro »Rien à faire (original title)

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Index 7 reviews in total 

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A good idea, finally kind of wasted

Author: Grégoire "Freak" Dubost (gregoire.dubost@wanado from Paris, France
3 December 1999

The first part of the film is quite good. As soon as they stay in the supermarket, Marie-Do and Pierre are really moving. It gets worse later.

Not because of the actor's performances, they're all quite good. Just that the second part leads much more place to the kind of "silent conversations" you can have with someone you love, and that only you and her/him can understand. What happens here is that we understand, but we're getting a bit bored by their meaningful looks without a sound. On the whole, it isn't bad, just disappointing to see the second part far behind the first one.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

everything is alright when you are on the dole

Author: dbdumonteil
17 September 2004

"Rien à faire" is a watchable and enjoyable flick for one main reason. Marion Vernoux, the director had intuition by choosing Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi for the main role. It is a real joy to see fer acting on the screen and her big talent, her soft voice are widely sufficient to justify the vision of this film. It is all the more beneficial as she's ably assisted by her main partner Patrick Dell'Isola.

Marion Vernoux put very well in parallel her two main actors' living conditions. The contrast constitutes one of her best weapons between the naive and the simple-minded Marie and Pierre who appears as a lucid and clever man. This contrast is highlighted when the director evokes difference and misunderstanding about several points commented by the two characters. Another interesting detail: the supermarket plays the role of meeting between the two universes.

Then, the author built her movie around one of the biggest plagues at the end of the twentieth century: unemployment. So, you could expect to discover a bleak and hopeless atmosphere. It is not the case. The relative seriousness of the situation remains confined in the background. A certain joy of living comes out of the film. Marie and Pierre are jobless but while searching for a job, they take time to know themselves, to help each other and eventually to fall in love. Marion Vernoux lets us suggest the reasons why they become lovers. You feel that Marie gets on rather badly with her husband (Sergi Lopez). As for Pierre, he falls in love with Marie, mainly because he doesn't succeed in finding a job again.

However, this work isn't without a few faults. Certain sequences can be judged as conventional (like the one when Pierre explains to Marie why he wants to put an end to their love affair) and I think an extra touch of passion would have given the movie more strength.

Anyway, I repeat it: this movie is worth watching especially for Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and given the treatment Marion Vernoux made of her subject, her work can be taken for a cousin of the movie: "en avoir ou pas..." (1995) by Laetitia Masson.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Sad but true, this is everyday life turned chaotic.

Author: Audun Bråten ( from Oslo, Norway
23 March 2003

The French, realistically-shot 1999 film "Rien à Faire" was broadcast on Norwegian television some weeks ago, and being a huge fan of French cinema I watched the film starring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Patrick Dell' Isola. The leads performed very well, especially Tedeschi as the subdued, insecure Marie-Do. In fact, the film ultimately comes down to the acting, because director Vernoux to some degree fails to keep up interest throughout the (appr.) ninety minutes.

As a study of distinction in French society, though, this film has some relevance to the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. In the beginning of the film, Marie-Do and her family's tastes in food and wine are compared with those of Pierre (Dell' Isola), as the two meet randomly in a Supermarket. Pierre is the middle-class handsome man who meet a working-class woman without confidence. After a while, though, we learn that Marie-Do and Pierre share a common fate: They are both unemployed. They start hanging out during their empty days (a good English title!), and the viewers just wonder when the anticipated affair will set off. Although they are very different, they find things to talk about and develop a good friendship, before they begin having sex and it all falls apart. Marie is given much attention by Pierre, and as her husband is more concerned with union work and "the revolution" than with even seeing her for who she is, it it not so strange that she wants to have an affair. She is sadly ignored in her family life, and the affair only supplies her with more sympathy. For Pierre, though, the sympathy decreases as we learn he has been married before, and was unfaithful with his previous wife as well.

This is the type of film that cannot end well for both, and that is great, because it would never have worked out in real life, either. So I do not find the depressing theme disturbing, in fact it is the best part of the film, along with the acting. But it is at times unfocused and I feel it also is at times a bit misanthropic. But that might be my viewpoint, and not others'.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Unemployed Affection

Author: charlie brown
7 February 2001

What a delightful little movie. What i really enjoyed is the minimalistic camera work, which was heavily based on close ups and long shots. The way the camera lingers on the characters' faces and floats between them has great insight. Also credit goes to the amazing actors, especially the girl. She steals the show with her expressive style. You can see all the hope of being loved by someone, all the agony , all the fear of being alone... Maybe the movie was 3 minutes too long but that's totally forgivable. RIEN A FAIRE is certainly a movie to discover.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Quiet Days In Cliché

Author: writers_reign
15 October 2004

It's interesting that this wonderful film appears to have divided the handful of people who have chosen to comment on it. I suspect that those who found it boring and/or clichéd are the type of audience who are not prepared to open themselves to a film and allow it to reach them. Of COURSE we have been there before but where haven't we been before. There are a finite number of plots and an equally finite number of variations on a theme, which means, I seem to be saying rather often lately, that it's all in the wrist. It's what the scenarist, director and subsequently the actors DO with even the most hackneyed story that counts. What, for instance, could be more predictable than the outcome of 'Before Sunrise' after the first ten minutes; everyone and his Uncle Max could have taken it from there and been right on the money but in spite of that 'Before Sunrise' was and remains one of the most charming Romantic films of all time as does its sequel, 'Before Sunset', which is equally predictable. I have reached the stage where Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi can no longer astonish me with the brilliance of her acting. No one can do heartache quite like this most luminous of actresses or show us the unrealistic hope slowly festering in the glare of indifference. Once again she is perfectly cast as the neglected housewife and so accomplished is she that we can actually pinpoint the moment when her dull, gray and dim interior life is suddenly illuminated by a faint flicker of light as she dares to contemplate romance. Although she receives more than adequate support she walks away with the movie effortlessly. 9/10

Was the above review useful to you?

Exquisite sensuality

Author: tony_le_stephanois
10 May 2015

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.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I've seen it before

Author: Enzo-22 ( from Buenos Aires, Argentina
9 April 2000

The plot is not original in the least. It's the story of a lonely woman who lives a boring life and who meets a man who is bored too, they are both unemployed and it seems to be the only thing they have in common. They have an affair, and finally he leaves her. And that's all. I have seen this kind of stories too many times. And it lasts almost 2 hours...

Was the above review useful to you?

Add another review

Related Links

Ratings Awards External reviews
Plot keywords Main details Your user reviews
Your vote history