IMDb > 24 Hours in the Life of a Woman (2002)

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

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Release Date:
8 January 2003 (France) See more »
Set in 1913, 1936 and 2001. When he returns to the casino and sea-side resort of his early adolescence... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Sensitive, intelligent homage to Stefan Zweig See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Agnès Jaoui ... Marie Collins Brown

Michel Serrault ... Louis

Bérénice Bejo ... Olivia

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Anton
Clément van den Bergh ... Louis jeune

Frances Barber ... Betty
Bruno Slagmulder ... Hervé
Jean-Claude Lamy ... Directeur casino
Pascal Greggory ... Joueur casino
Valérie Dréville ... Henriette
Serge Riaboukine ... Maurice
Édith Le Merdy ... Femme médecin
Philippe Sturbelle ... Médecin belge (as Philippe Sturbel)

Chloé Lambert ... Pensionnaire
François Caron ... Pensionnaire blond
Anette Burgdorf ... Mme Gruber
Christian Schneller ... M. Gruber
Jean-François Gallotte ... Le taxi / Le cocher

Michel Gondoin ... Videur boîte
Stéphanie Murat ... Femme de service
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Pasquale Aleardi ... Paulo

Alexia Barlier ... Kate
Xavier-Adrien Laurent ... Le groom du Grand Hotel (as Xavier Laurent)

Directed by
Laurent Bouhnik 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Laurent Bouhnik 
Gilles Taurand 
Stefan Zweig  novel "24 Stunden aus dem Leben einer Frau"

Produced by
Chris Chrisafis .... co-producer
Etienne Comar .... producer
Jean Cottin .... producer
Ulrich Felsberg .... co-producer
Alan Harris .... line producer
Philippe Roux .... executive producer
Andrew Somper .... co-producer
Barbara von Wrangell .... line producer: Germany
Original Music by
Michael Nyman 
Cinematography by
Gilles Henry 
Film Editing by
Hervé de Luze 
Jacqueline Mariani 
Casting by
Anja Dihrberg 
Stéphane Foenkinos 
Production Design by
Tanino Liberatore 
Art Direction by
Yann Biquand 
Volker Schäfer 
Adam Squires 
Costume Design by
Pierre-Yves Gayraud 
Production Management
Jérémie Chevret .... assistant unit manager
Christophe Grandière .... unit production manager
Anne Lessnick .... production manager
Romaric Thomas .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Barbara Dupont .... second assistant director
Maurice Hermet .... first assistant director
Corinne Le Hong .... co-first assistant director
Carole Reinhard .... trainee assistant director
Art Department
Sulamith Ater .... set dresser
Roberto DiCamillo .... buyer
Jutta Freyer .... set dresser
Anja Fromm .... drawing artist
Daniel Kolarov .... property master
Tim Pannen .... set dresser
Michel Rollant .... property buyer
Olivier Serrano .... assistant property master
Georges Vermeren .... property master
Andreas Well .... construction coordinator
Markus Wollersheim .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Axel Arft .... sound mixer
Lucien Balibar .... sound editor
Nicolas Becker .... foley artist
Fabrice Conesa .... foley and adr recordist
Aymeric Devoldère .... sound editor
Christian Fontaine .... sound mixer
Gwennolé Le Borgne .... assistant sound editor
Philippe Richard .... sound
James Seddon .... dolby consultant
Raphael Sohier .... sound editor
Seppe van Groeningen .... boom operator
Visual Effects by
Olivier Veau .... visual effects
Alain Brochery .... stunt coordinator
Nicolas Brochery .... stunts
Gilles Ciamin .... stunts
Carle David .... stunts
Christelle Droy .... stunts
Frederic Garcia .... stunts
René Marcucci .... stunts
Stéphane Saavedra .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Alexander Bscheidl .... second assistant camera: Germany
Eric Catelan .... steadicam operator
Adam Dale .... aerial director of photography
Nicolas Desaintquentin .... camera trainee
Jean-François Drigeard .... gaffer
Rossi Handsley .... grip
Stephan Rother .... rigging gaffer
Michel Strasser .... grip
Jean-Pierre Voisin .... electrician
Glyn Williams .... first assistant camera: aerial unit (uncredited)
Casting Department
Anne Barbier .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Françoise Dubois .... wardrobe
Aline Dupays .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Miguel Bejo .... telecine dailies colorist
Yvan Lucas .... color timer
Charlotte Rembauville .... assistant editor
Location Management
Caroline Ruelle .... location scout
Cindy Thomson .... location manager: UK
Music Department
Gary Carpenter .... orchestrator
Michael Connell .... music editor
Edouard Dubois .... music consultant
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Bruce White .... viola
Other crew
Michaël Barocas .... production assistant
Audrey Ciais .... script trainee
Charlotte Corrigan .... production assistant
Kim Courcelle .... assistant accountant
Tim Desbois .... helicopter coordinator
Christian Fischer .... accounting assistant: Germany
Abraham Goldblat .... post-production manager
Fréderic Hardy .... harnessing
Marie-Noëlle Hauville .... production accountant
Paul Meyer-Gerlt .... production accountant
Volker Otte .... filmfunding manager

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"24 heures de la vie d'une femme" - France (original title)
See more »
Canada:107 min (Toronto International Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Remake of Affair in Monte Carlo (1952)See more »


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42 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
Sensitive, intelligent homage to Stefan Zweig, 15 June 2005
Author: debblyst from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"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.

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