7.5/10
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Olivier, Olivier (1992)

R | | Drama | 3 March 1993 (USA)
A nine-year-old boy disappears without a trace. Six years later, he reappears in Paris but there are doubts about his real identity.

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writers:

Agnieszka Holland, Agnieszka Holland (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frédéric Quiring Frédéric Quiring ... Marcel
Faye Gatteau Faye Gatteau ... Nadine petite
Emmanuel Morozof Emmanuel Morozof ... Olivier petit
Brigitte Roüan Brigitte Roüan ... Elisabeth Duval
François Cluzet ... Serge Duval
Carole Lemerle Carole Lemerle ... Babette petite
Jean-François Stévenin Jean-François Stévenin ... l'inspecteur Druot
Jean-Bernard Josko Jean-Bernard Josko ... le flic
Lucrèce La Chenardière Lucrèce La Chenardière ... la voisine
Madeleine Marie Madeleine Marie ... La grand-mère
Françoise Lorente Françoise Lorente ... la droguée
Alexis Derlon Alexis Derlon ... Micky
Grégoire Colin ... Olivier
Mathias Jung Mathias Jung ... Simard
Marina Golovine Marina Golovine ... Nadine
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Storyline

A nine-year-old boy disappears without a trace. Six years later, he reappears in Paris but there are doubts about his real identity. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is never as innocent as it seems.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Boris Godounov
(extract)
Music by Modest Mussorgsky (as M. Moussorgski)
(from the movie Boris Godounov (1989) directed by Andrzej Zulawski)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Wait until you love someone.
1 June 2010 | by BERSERKERpoetrySee all my reviews

The thing about a film like "Olivier, Olivier" is how cold and distant the characters are directly influences the warmth of the film itself. This is a very distant, harsh story at times, filled with characters constantly at odds with one another. No one has a healthy, balanced relationship. Unlike Agnieszka Holland's next film, "The Secret Garden", the underlying beauties are greatly crushed beneath the weight of ugly attitudes. There's no redemption to be found, only emotional pain. That does not make this a bad film, only an exceedingly difficult one.

Love is always an illusion in "Olivier, Olivier". The only time it is at all real is in the early scenes of Nadine's and Olivier's childhood. From there on, guilt and possessiveness take over. In a frighteningly powerful way, everyone is, in turn, exposed for each of their darkest sides. The acting is great, there's no denying that. But it's far too narrowly focused. The cinematography is nice, but given virtually no breathing room. Scene after scene is the intense focus of faces and mid-range close-ups. Sometimes it feels like we never really get to see what's going on around these people. Then again, neither do they. Their world is excessively insular, incestuous, sealed in and circular.

There's a strange turn of events toward the last third of the film. A spiritual aspect is introduced briefly that has little forewarning and less explanation. I wouldn't normally be opposed to this inclusion, save for the fact that it has no real context or purpose in a straightforward drama. It feels ill-conceived and quite unbelievable.

In the end, most of the original questions are answered. Anyone who was watching could quite easily have pieced it together, but it is somewhat gratifying to see it resolved. A lot of people have praised this film as a stunning achievement. In a few ways, this can be true. But at the heart of "Olivier, Olivier", you are left with a somewhat dull, incompletely realized film. There are depths, both visual and emotional, that Agnieszka Holland doesn't nearly reach. It is a genuinely good film - but quite far away from being an excellent one.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 March 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Оливье, Оливье See more »

Filming Locations:

Vendée, France See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,154,476

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,154,476
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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