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Strange Affair (1981)

Une étrange affaire (original title)
Louis Coline assists the head of advertising of a department store in decline. He has little to do, but seems content with his marriage to Nina, his visits to his mother and grandmother, ... See full summary »
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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Piccoli ... Bertrand Malair
Gérard Lanvin ... Louis Coline
Nathalie Baye ... Nina Coline
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ... François Lingre
Jean-François Balmer ... Paul Belais
Pierre Michaël Pierre Michaël ... Gérard Doutre
Madeleine Cheminat Madeleine Cheminat ... Yvette, la grand-mère de Louis
Victor Garrivier Victor Garrivier ... Le père de Nina
Dominique Blanchar ... La mère de Louis
André Chaumeau André Chaumeau ... Le vieil employé
Jacques Boudet Jacques Boudet ... M. Blain, le chef du personnel
Ariane Lartéguy Ariane Lartéguy ... Salomé Weyergans
Nicolas Vogel Nicolas Vogel ... René
Dominique Zardi Dominique Zardi ... Gruault, chef des contentieux
Humbert Balsan Humbert Balsan ... Jean-Loup
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Storyline

Louis Coline assists the head of advertising of a department store in decline. He has little to do, but seems content with his marriage to Nina, his visits to his mother and grandmother, and poker games with friends. When new boss Bernard Malair arrives to turn the store around, Louis fears for his job; but Bernard, with his numbers man Paul and his factotum François, invites Louis into an inner circle of long hours of work, nightclubs, and dinners with an androgynous vamp. Nina objects, but Louis cannot say no to Bernard's demands, no matter how personal. In desperation, Nina leaves Louis, but that drives him further into Bernard's orbit. Can anything break this spell? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

23 December 1981 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Chefen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films A2, Sara Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Oddball French satirical drama
31 October 2017 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

Set in Paris, a lackadaisical advertising executive, content with his domestic situation with his loving wife, has his life turned upside down when a new ultra-controlling manager takes over the company he works for. The new man begins to intrude upon his life and dominate him, moving his work-life balance into the red. It begins with excessive overtime and gofering, and before long he lets the manager move himself into his house, where he takes no time in the slightest to begin cooking his food, sleeping in his bed and wandering around naked. Needless to say, his domestic life takes a nose-dive as his professional life moves upwards.

This unusual French satirical drama is about a man caught in a trap. A man who loses his personality and quality of life in his pursuit of keeping his boss happy as he eyes his career at the total expense of everything else. It suggests that it is dangerously easy to be manipulated and fall over the precipice when authority deems it the way ahead. I think it is a criticism of capitalist thinking and the abuse of power. Michel Piccoli has a lot of fun here as the overbearing boss, in a larger than life performance of passive aggressive manipulation. Also very good was Jean-Pierre Kalfon as his relentless side-kick François. It's overall an interesting and slightly left-of-centre psychological drama.


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