6.6/10
850
7 user 6 critic

Our History (1984)

Notre histoire (original title)
A desperate alcoholic reaches a turning-point in his life when he meets a strange woman in a railway carriage: they make love, but then she leaves. Chasing after the girl, he clings to her as if she were his final chance.

Director:

Bertrand Blier

Writer:

Bertrand Blier
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alain Delon ... Robert Avranche
Nathalie Baye ... Donatienne Pouget / Marie-Thérèse Chatelard / Geneviève Avranche
Gérard Darmon ... Duval
Geneviève Fontanel ... Madeleine Pecqueur
Jean-Pierre Darroussin ... The second passenger
Sabine Haudepin ... Carmen
Jean-François Stévenin Jean-François Stévenin ... Chatelard
Ginette Garcin ... The florist
Michel Galabru ... Emile Pecqueur
Philippe Laudenbach ... Sam
Paul Guers ... Clark
Jean-Louis Foulquier Jean-Louis Foulquier ... Bob
Jacques Pisias Jacques Pisias ... Fred (as Firmin)
Vincent Lindon ... Brechet
Norbert Letheule Norbert Letheule ... Paraiso
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Storyline

Robert Avranche, a garage owner who's often in an alcoholic stupor, is on a train thinking that nothing good ever happens to him. A young woman enters the compartment and tells him a story - about the two of them - then offers him sex. She leaves at the next station; he follows her and clings. She's Donatienne, languid, bored, sad, sleeping with many men but in love with a one who's indifferent. Robert insists on living with her. She calls his friends to remove him. He's obdurate. Neighbors stare. Is this farce or fairy tale? Robert and Donatienne tell each other stories, writing themselves in and out. Will he sober up; will she smile? Whose story is it, and how might it end? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Did You Know?


Soundtracks

The Frescoes of Piero della Francesca
Music by Bohuslav Martinu
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User Reviews

 
A surreal twist on marriage!
24 April 2001 | by darren_parrySee all my reviews

Please don't get me wrong - I like this movie. It is pure 80's French romantic cinema, has two excellent leads, and like the Flic flicks of the time, has relevant modern themes. It is, however, deeply flawed.

"Notre Histoire" is a classic example of a movie in which an established director carries out all the mistakes he should have shaken off at film school. For instance, Blier is the only director I know who doesn't know how to use music effectively - music is just slotted in at random points, and very unsuitable points at that.

Like a lot of Blier's work, this is a film of confusion, alternative reality and twisted takes on what we call normal life. Its' characters change persona, distance becomes meaningless, relationships blur - yet the film's final few seconds puts everything - and I do mean EVERYTHING - into sharp context.

Essentially, this is a vehicle for Alain Delon, but it's nowhere in the same league as Le Samourai. It's Delon - the King of 60s Cool - playing Robert, a middle-aged man in crisis; yes, playing against type! His marriage is on the rocks, but being Delon, he attracts the attention of wayward young mother Donatienne (Baye). After a fleeting assignation on an SNCF train, Robert won't let go. Donatienne is the woman for him, and he won't give her up! To hell with the marriage, the job, the house, the normal life - let's be reckless!

What follows is a series of surreal set pieces taking Robert from fascination to obsession to the spiritual nature of beer. The surreal nature of the film does throw up some problems as times. The objectification of women for instance; women are displayed as problematic objects for men; inconveniences that get in the way of a good Gallic life. Even Nathalie Baye herself is portrayed as a hooker, wife, mother, teacher and adulteress in many episodes of the tale.

However, the leads are wonderful - Delon gives it his seedy, confused best, whilst Baye (in my mind the most underrated French actress of her generation) gives a wonderful weak/strong performance as the many faces of Donatienne.

Yes, this is a surreal love story. Yes, this is so Gallic it could not be remade in English. Yes, it isn't perfect, but it's an excellent example of a purely French cinema that is simply too homegrown to be appreciated by a wider audience.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

16 May 1984 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Our History See more »

Filming Locations:

Cluses, Haute-Savoie, France

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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