Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
A wallet lost and found opens the door to romantic adventure for Georges and Marguerite. After examining the ID papers of its owner, it is not a simple matter for Georges to turn the red ... See full summary »
Odile is looking for a new, bigger apartment. Her younger sister Camille just completed her doctoral thesis has fallen in love with an estate agent who is responsible for Odile's apartment ... See full summary »
A musical drawing room farce set in Paris in October, 1925. Gilberte, in middle-age, flirts with men but loves her husband Georges, wishing he were more demonstrative. He's negotiating a ... See full summary »
Elisabeth and Simon have been deeply in love for two months when Simon momentarily dies, but comes back to life. Simon does not want any further medical tests, but the couple are forced to ... See full summary »
From beyond the grave, celebrated playwright Antoine d'Anthac gathers together all his friends who have appeared over the years in his play "Eurydice." These actors watch a recording of the... See full summary »
Joey Wellman, a cantankerous American cartoonist, accepts an invitation to come to an exhibition in Paris, because his estranged daughter Elsie is a student there. He arrives with his ... See full summary »
In Yorkshire, Toby Teasdale is the alcoholic director of a school and married with two children with Celia Teasdale that is very unhappy. They have a maid, Sylvie Bell, and a guardian and ... See full summary »
Clive Langham (Sir John Gielgud) spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives. He is a bitter man and he shows, ... See full summary »
In Paris in the 1920s, a concert violinist meets and falls in love with a stylish young flapper who's the wife of an old friend. Romaine instigates the affair with Marcel, and carries it ... See full summary »
Three intertwined tales. On the eve of the First World War, Count Forbek starts to build a fantastic castle in the Ardennes forest. After the war he uses it to start a utopian society by ... See full summary »
Seven lonely lives in Paris: a middle-aged estate agent who thinks a colleague is sending messages in video tapes she loans him; his co-worker whose Bible is close at hand in times of stress; her late-night charge, who's an angry, nasty bedridden old man; his son, a patient bartender; the bartender's best patron, an ex-soldier who's lost his moorings while his fiancée looks for a large flat for them; and, the estate agent's much younger sister, who answers ads in the personal and waits in cafés with a red flower pinned on her jacket. Will any connect? Can open hearts trump fears? Written by
There is a Scarborough poster in Thierry's home. The English seaside resort of Scarborough is the home of the play's author, Sir Alan Ayckbourn. See more »
When Charlotte has the tomato soup thrown at her by Arthur, the front of her blouse and sweater have large reddish stains on them. When Lionel returns home and is talking to her, the stains have disappeared. See more »
A very funny and insightful reflection on relationships and solitude
Coeurs, the latest achievement of French master Alain Resnais, stands out as one of the finest European productions of 2006, a fact confirmed by the Silver Lion it was awarded in Venice. While the critics and audience at the festival were more anxious to see other films, like The Black Dahlia or INLAND EMPIRE, this small, intimate, bittersweet character study quietly moved towards well deserved recognition, proving that the great New Wave director had lost none of his special touch.
Like one of his best known films, Smoking/No Smoking, Coeurs is based on a play by Alan Ayckbourn. But whereas Smoking/No Smoking retained its untarnished Englishness, Resnais makes it pretty clear that he's keeping his new work as distant as possible from its literary source: the title is completely different (as the French filmmaker thought Private Fears in Public Places was misleading in regards to the subject), and the story is set in Paris, with the inevitable (and, I might add, quite brilliant) changes in the dialogue that this requires.
The film focuses on six people struggling to achieve or maintain meaningful relationships. There's the aging Thierry (André Dussollier, funny and heartbreaking at the same time) who has to fight his feelings for his younger assistant (Sabine Azéma). There's his sister Gaelle (Isabelle Carré), who goes out on blind dates every night and always comes back hugely disappointed. There's Nicole (Laura Morante), a frustrated woman who's trying to find a nice apartment whilst dealing with her unemployed and increasingly detached boyfriend, Dan (Lambert Wilson). And there's Lionel (Pierre Arditi, a laconic revelation), a lonely bartender who has to take care of his father, the rude, sex-obsessed Arthur (Claude Rich, heard but not seen). Over the course of four days, these characters will meet and affect each others'lives in unexpected, amusing, but also very touching ways.
With this masterwork, Resnais proves himself a true auteur, telling us an apparently simple tale of love and longing with a direct, honest approach, from the hilarious beginning to the moving, open conclusion. In adapting Ayckbourn's stage work, he manages the impossible, which is to make the movie look theatrical but not overly bizarre, using subtle, unpretentious tricks: the speaking parts belong solely to the six leading actors (plus Rich's priceless vocal cameo), every single scene takes place indoors (and the locations are always the same), and, most importantly, sequences are linked by a metaphorical snowfall, which gives the film a poetic, almost magical feel.
Those who thought Closer could have benefited from less swearing and more sympathy for its characters should watch Coeurs. It may not exactly end on a happy note, but at least it doesn't risk sliding into misanthropy. Beneath the apparent pessimism, there's a heart beating. The heart of an experienced director who hasn't stopped to amaze us.
35 of 42 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?