Rosalie is amicably divorced, dividing her time between her mother's house, with her siblings and small daughter, and César's. He's self made, a scrap iron king, outgoing, amiable, in love with her. Enter David, an artist and Rosalie's flame before her marriage. In a quiet, brooding way, he seeks to reclaim Rosalie. César's jealous outbursts and attempts at cunning backfire and send Rosalie into David's arms. César keeps trying: he buys Rosalie's childhood seaside vacation home as a gift, wins her back, then must ask David to join them so Rosalie will be happy. When Rosalie discovers César and David's complicity, she again asserts her freedom, leaving the men alone together.Written by
It was Claude Sautet who revitalised the career of Romy Schneider in 'Les choses de ma vie' for which we owe him a great debt of thanks. 'Cesar et Rosalie' is their third collaboration and although the later 'Simple Story' provided her with her best role, this is my personal favourite. An actress of immense grace and sensitivity adored by the camera whose sad end is a grim reminder that even those gifted by the Gods are subject to the hammer blows of Fate. As for Yves Montand his performance is out of the top drawer and decidedly one of this best. He plays a self-made man who is happy in his relationship with Rosalie and seemingly confident in his masculinity. He then meets Davide, a former lover of Rosalie and it is then the insecurities start to show...... Davide is perfectly played by the enigmatic Sami Frey whose shy, gentle character represents the other side of the coin. The ever-changing dynamics of this trio's relationships are fascinating to watch and although those who prefer their film endings to be conclusive might find this one unsatisfactory, the fact that it ends with a question mark makes it, in my opinion, even more interesting. Good writing makes good actors even better of course so mention must be made of Sautet's regular script collaborator Jean-Loup Dabadie. There were more beauties to come from Sautet over the next twenty years but this is certainly one to treasure. Highly recommended.
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