7.5/10
2,378
16 user 25 critic

Muriel, or the Time of Return (1963)

Muriel ou le temps d'un retour (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 13 March 2007 (USA)
In the seaside town of Boulogne, no one seems to be able to cope with their past, least of all Hélène, an antique furniture saleswoman, her stepson Bernard, and her former lover Alphonse.

Director:

Alain Resnais

Writer:

Jean Cayrol (scenario and dialogue)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Diego is one of the chief of the spanish Communist Party. He is travelling back to Paris (where he lives) from a mission in Madrid. He is arrested at the border for an identity check but ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Yves Montand, Ingrid Thulin, Geneviève Bujold
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After attempting suicide, Claude is recruited for a time travel experiment, but, when the machine goes haywire, he may be trapped hurtling through his memories.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Claude Rich, Olga Georges-Picot, Anouk Ferjac
Providence (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A dying writer bases his last book on his own perception of his family.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Ellen Burstyn, John Gielgud
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Sabine Azéma, Fanny Ardant, Pierre Arditi
Drama | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Vittorio Gassman, Ruggero Raimondi, Geraldine Chaplin
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The intersecting stories of three people who face difficult choices in life-changing situations are used to illustrate the theories espoused by Henri Laborit about human behavior and the relationship between the self and society.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Nicole Garcia, Roger Pierre
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff
Stavisky... (1974)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Irrestisible charm and talent help Serge Alexandre alias Stavisky, small-time swindler, to make friends with even the most influential members of the French industrial and political elite ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Boyer, François Périer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Pierre Arditi, Sabine Azéma
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A quirky woman who spends her free time as a pilot has her purse stolen; when a mysterious man finds her wallet, they embark on a peculiar romance.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: André Dussollier, Sabine Azéma, Anne Consigny
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Anne Goupil is a literature student in Paris in 1957. Her elder brother, Pierre, takes her to a friend's party where the guests include Philip Kaufman, an expatriate American escaping ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Betty Schneider, Giani Esposito, Françoise Prévost
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Delphine Seyrig ... Hélène Aughain
Jean-Pierre Kérien Jean-Pierre Kérien ... Alphonse Noyard
Nita Klein Nita Klein ... Françoise
Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée ... Bernard Aughain (as Jean-Baptiste Thierrée)
Claude Sainval Claude Sainval ... Roland de Smoke
Laurence Badie Laurence Badie ... Claudie
Jean Champion Jean Champion ... Ernest
Jean Dasté ... L'homme à la chèvre / The Goat Man
Martine Vatel Martine Vatel ... Marie-Dominique, aka Marie-Do
Julien Verdier Julien Verdier ... Le loueur de chevaux / The Stableman
Philippe Laudenbach ... Robert
Nelly Borgeaud ... La femme du couple d'acheteurs
Catherine de Seynes Catherine de Seynes ... Angèle
Gaston Joly Gaston Joly ... Antoine, le tailleur / Antoine the Tailor
Gérard Lorin Gérard Lorin ... Marc
Edit

Storyline

In the seacoast town of Boulogne, Hélène sells antique furniture, living with her step-son, Bernard, who's back from military duty in Algiers. An old lover of Hélène's comes to visit - Alphonse - with his niece Françoise; he too is back from Algiers, where he ran a café. Bernard speaks of his fiancée, Muriel, whom Hélène has not met. The narrative, like memory and intention, is jumpy, the past obscured by guilt, misperceptions, and missed possibilities. Appearances deceive, things change. As Hélène and Alphonse try to sort out a renewal, everyone seems off-kilter just enough to hint that all cannot end well. Can anyone know another? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Muriel: Best Picture Prix International Des Critiques Venice Film Festival 1963 See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

13 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Muriel, or the Time of Return See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When polled by the AFI filmmaker Randa Haines named "Muriel" as her all-time favorite film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Whiplash (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Dejà
By Paul Colline and Paul Maye
(RAOUL BRETON éditions)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Space of memory, past and future fears
12 May 2011 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Resnais is one of the seven sages of cinema, perhaps even one of the most important ones. Within him we find others, like Godard and Marker, who inherited the problems he first posited with clarity of vision and eloquence of mood. Problems of memory, firstly how the past forms manifest in consciousness and synthesize an illusionary space which we then inhabit (in itself a poignant inspection of the mechanisms of cinema), more importantly what these past forms are, which we understand as the self and identity, and how they trap us in meaningless dilemmas.

His astounding contribution to this field, is in how he brilliantly envisions this space by means of a visual vocabulary and how he articulates within it. The museum in Hiroshima (which reappears here again, as homage), the hotel in Marienbad.

We find the wandering of memory again in Muriel, in a form a tad less inspired this time than those films.

Passions past and present, which defined the participants as persons and left indelible marks on their souls, we see how they appear again after time. We see these people use memory as the only means of reliving time, of painfully trying to claim again the ethical vindication that escaped them the first time. How this past, projected in their minds, appears again around them to trap them anew. And we see how, their lives stifled as a result of those past anxieties, the memory of these things points at no way out.

The characters in this are fittingly restless, always rushing particularly nowhere, actually running from things they won't admit. Running perhaps against all hope that they will face them again. Moments of reflection are burdened with half-remembered sadness, while life outside continues indifferently.

Entire scenes of this play out as they would in ordinary melodrama, then the narrative seems to break down for a time. Virtually recalling fragments of images and conversations which mean nothing, we become privy to the destructive powers of memory. We actually experience the disorientation as part of the movie.

But Muriel lacks something in comparison to those other films. Perhaps it's the political angle (re the Algiers conflict and how it resonates in a complacent French bourgeois society), which in previous Resnais films is quietly buried underneath, dormant and supine, yet here greets us upfront, often violently demanding our discourse. Perhaps it's the pastel color palette, that may had been intented to invoke the contours of melodrama whose tropes the movie rearranges, but renders the film now a relic of the times.

Nonetheless Resnais here gives us an important realization. How we spend the present moment reliving past sufferings or anticipating the future with fear or hope, allowing these chimeras of the mind, born of desire, to cloud our soul, to disrupt our contact with the world. He gives us this not as a grave speech, something Bergman would do who was impotent in the face of suffering, but in the form of a merry jingle, which one character playfully recites after a dinner gathering, as a way of reminding us how trivial and unimportant these past or future fears are.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed