24 Hours in the Life of a Woman (2002)
"24 heures de la vie d'une femme" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  8 January 2003 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 316 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 7 critic

Set in 1913, 1936 and 2001. When he returns to the casino and sea-side resort of his early adolescence, Louis, a seventy-eight-year-old man encounters Olivia, a nineteen-year-old girl madly... See full summary »


0Check in
1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Select Hotel (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

It's a hotel with walls in the corridor covered with striped paper, crossed like bars of a dingy prison, its rooms as large as cells. The Select Hotel is a dead end place for those who do ... See full summary »

Director: Laurent Bouhnik
Stars: Julie Gayet, Jean-Michel Fête, Serge Blumental
Zonzon (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Director: Laurent Bouhnik
Stars: Pascal Greggory, Gaël Morel, Jamel Debbouze
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  
Director: Hannes Holm
Stars: Martina Haag, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ellen Mattsson
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Mick and Tom are an unlikely father-son team of petty thieves. They've been hired to steal a painting from a museum. By accident, they steal the wrong painting: Denmark's only original Rembrandt masterpiece, worth millions.

Director: Jannik Johansen
Stars: Lars Brygmann, Jakob Cedergren, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Himmerland (2008)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

An American travels to Europe to unravel the mystery surrounding his sister's death.

Director: James Barclay
Stars: James Barclay, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Julie R. Ølgaard
The Bouncer (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Based on a true story the film tells the story of Svend who fights to save his elderly parents' marriage even though it has made his life almost unbearable. When he meets Lizzie he ... See full summary »

Director: Jesper W. Nielsen
Stars: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Iben Hjejle, Per Oscarsson
The Headsman (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Director Simon Aeby's epic film chronicles the time-tested loyalty of two friends during Europe's 16th-century Inquisition. Orphans Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Georg (Peter McDonald)... See full summary »

Director: Simon Aeby
Stars: Steven Berkoff, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Julie Cox
L'invité (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Unemployed for three years, Gerard has landed a job in Indonesia. To start off on the right foot with his "team leader", Gerard invites him to dinner. Considering his wife's lack of ... See full summary »

Director: Laurent Bouhnik
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Valérie Lemercier, Thierry Lhermitte
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: Laurent Bouhnik
Stars: Véra Briole, Manuel Blanc, Anouk Aimée
Triple Dare (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Three teenage girls create their own rite of passage into adulthood, forcing one another to face sexual challenges and cross many boundaries.

Director: Christina Rosendahl
Stars: Emma Leth, Cathrine Bjørn, Amalie Lindegård
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Per tries to help people get a new antenna, but gets into serious trouble.

Director: Søren Fauli
Stars: Søren Fauli, Trine Michelsen, Trine Runge
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Director: Marie-France Pisier
Stars: Bérénice Bejo, Marie-France Pisier, Guillaume Depardieu


Cast overview, first billed only:
Clément van den Bergh ...
Louis jeune
Bruno Slagmulder ...
Jean-Claude Lamy ...
Directeur casino
Pascal Greggory ...
Joueur casino
Valérie Dréville ...
Serge Riaboukine ...
Édith Le Merdy ...
Femme médecin
Philippe Sturbelle ...
Médecin belge (as Philippe Sturbel)
François Caron ...
Pensionnaire blond


Set in 1913, 1936 and 2001. When he returns to the casino and sea-side resort of his early adolescence, Louis, a seventy-eight-year-old man encounters Olivia, a nineteen-year-old girl madly in love with a violent cad. Louis tells the story of his own mother having a passionate, driven fling with his Italian tennis instructor in 1936, and of Marie Collins Brown, the slightly older widowed woman who helped him through his confusion and pain by recounting the story of her passionate twenty-four-hour fling with a hopeless young Polish gambler in 1913. Written by Maple2

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »



| |


Release Date:

8 January 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

24 Hours in the Life of a Woman  »

Box Office


€11,590,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Remake of 24 Stunden aus dem Leben einer Frau (1931) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sensitive, intelligent homage to Stefan Zweig
15 June 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"24 Hours of a Woman's Life" (2003) is the sixth film version of the famous novella by Austrian writer Stefan Zweig (1881-1942). In the book, a certain Mrs. C., a 67 year-old upper-class English widow, befriends a male stranger (the narrator) in a hotel at the Côte d'Azur and tells him about her long kept secret: an eventful day in her life, 25 years before, when she met a young Polish army officer and compulsive gambler half her age, saved his life, fell madly in love and was finally let down by him -- all in the course of 24 hours, dramatically changing her life forever.

While the book deals with a single narrative -- the confession of Mrs C. -- the film adds complexity and new characters to the original story. In the film, we deal with three interwoven narratives, all taking place at the Côte d'Azur but in different periods: a) 1910s: the tragic love story between Mrs C. (now renamed Mrs. Collins-Brown, played by Agnès Jaoui) and the young Polish gambler Anton (Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau); b) 1936: Mrs. Collins-Brown's account of those events in an attempt to comfort teenage Louis (Clément van der Bergh), whose mother has just eloped with a tennis instructor she had met only the day before; c) 2001: Louis (Michel Serrault) is now a lonely, depressed bachelor and retired diplomat. He returns to the Côte d'Azur of his youth and accidentally meets desperate young Olivia (Bérénice Béjo), who's running away from her abusive, violent boyfriend. At first unwilling to help her but eventually identifying with her loneliness and despair, old Louis takes her to his hotel room and tells her the story he once heard from the English lady in 1936 -- and that same story will have a life-changing effect on THEIR own lives.

Zweig, though not in the same literary "league" as his friends and contemporaries Thomas Mann, Rilke and Joyce, was nevertheless highly thought of and successful in the Europe of the 1920s and 1930s. Many international films have been based on his oeuvre since the 1920s, such as the classic "Letter from an Unknown Woman" by Max Ophüls with Joan Fontaine (1948), filmed at least another 5 times; "Confusion des Sentiments", a study in closeted homosexuality considered by some some scholars to be secretly autobiographical, directed by Étienne Périer with Michel Piccoli (1979); "Fear" by Rossellini with Ingrid Bergman (1954); the promising but ultimately disappointing "The Burning Secret" by Andrew Birkin with K.M.Brandauer and Faye Dunaway (1988), and many others. His stories, usually dealing with burning (and mostly illicit) passions that defy conventions and eventually lead to catharsis or tragedy, were greatly admired by Freud, who considered "24 Hours..." a masterpiece, "comparable to the best of Dostoevsky" (not quite, though the nature of the material had an obvious appeal for psychoanalytic theorization). Zweig shared Virginia Woolf's interest in the shattering consequences of sexual and emotional repression (especially for women) in re-shaped and traumatized Europe between the great world wars, though their literary styles were totally distinct.

Director/co-screenwriter Laurent Bouhnik's decision to add a new contemporary episode with new characters is far from a "betrayal" or "heresy" on Zweig: on the contrary, it's an intelligent tribute to Zweig's literature, as it brings a welcome modern complexity to the story (it may sound complicated but is visually very clear, when you add costumes, make-up and different sets). Zweig's novella is not only about a Belle Époque lady who breaks free from social conventions plunging into emotional and sexual self-awareness -- it's also about the cathartic power of sharing life experiences with other people, about the search for emotional truth, about how unexpected events can change our lives overnight and forever.

"24 Heures..." has fine production values, with beautiful locations in Cologne and the Côte d'Azur, lush costumes (the green dress Jaoui wears at the casino is a knockout!) and effective music by Michael Nyman. The production design defines the three periods very clearly, as the 1910s are all art-nouveau, the 1930s art-déco, and the 2000s icily "post-modern".

Michel Serrault slowly unfolds the complexity of the old Louis with his consummate expertise. Agnès Joui -- though miscast, as she is is too young for her role and the few scenes in English betray her thick accent -- is an actress/writer herself, and thus has full understanding of her role; furthermore her "unglamorous" looks make her Mrs C. more realistic than earlier versions with goddess-like divas Merle Oberon, Ingrid Bergman and Danielle Darrieux. Young Clément van der Bergh ("La Ville don't le Prince est unEnfant" and "La Classe de Neige") is once again very appealing in his melancholy good looks. Danish actor Nikolaj Koster-Waldau is at once seductive, menacing and frail in the relatively short but pivotal role of gambler/officer Anton.

"24 Hours..." is an intelligently updated homage to Zweig, the great humanist Jewish writer who fled from Nazi Germany and wandered throughout Europe in the early 1930s looking for a safe haven, finally settling in Brazil in 1941. During the Carnival of 1942, deeply depressed due to his belief that Hitler would ultimately win the war and having a hard time adapting in a totally different language and culture, Zweig and his wife Lotte committed double suicide by taking pills and poison in Petrópolis (a city near Rio de Janeiro), leaving a note stating he was "too old to start anew" and wishing his friends "good luck" while they waited for "the sun to finally rise after these darkest of times".

P.S.: If you're interested in Zweig, try to find Sylvio Back's Brazilian documentary "Zweig: A Morte em Cena" (1995)(q.v.) and fiction film "Lost Zweig" (2002, released in 2007) about Zweig's final days, although these are hard finds EVEN if you live in Brazil.

41 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss 24 Hours in the Life of a Woman (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: