7 user 3 critic

La crise (1992)

When Victor finds out one morning that his wife had left him and that she had forgotten to at least buy milk for the Kids, he finds that things can only get worse. Having also been fired ... See full summary »


Coline Serreau


Coline Serreau
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Lindon ... Victor Barelle
Patrick Timsit Patrick Timsit ... Michou
Zabou Breitman ... Isa Barelle (as Zabou)
Maria Pacôme ... Mme Barelle
Yves Robert ... M. Barelle
Annick Alane Annick Alane ... Mamie
Gilles Privat Gilles Privat ... Laurent
Michèle Laroque ... Martine
Christian Benedetti Christian Benedetti ... Paul
Nanou Garcia Nanou Garcia ... Sophie
Clotilde Mollet Clotilde Mollet ... Tania
Isabelle Petit-Jacques Isabelle Petit-Jacques ... Françoise
Didier Flamand Didier Flamand ... Monsieur Laville
Marie-France Santon Marie-France Santon ... Madame Laville
Laurent Gamelon ... Didier


When Victor finds out one morning that his wife had left him and that she had forgotten to at least buy milk for the Kids, he finds that things can only get worse. Having also been fired from his job on the very same day, he ends up searching through a list of friends and family for someone who will listen to his grief and give some advice. The only person who does give him attention is a rather clumsy and not too intelligent street pauper called Michou. Victor finds Michou irritating and only finally comes to see him in a positive light when he starts to realise that his insensitivity to those closest to him has been major reason for all his troubles. Written by Javert5

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Things can only get better.


Comedy | Music


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Did You Know?


French visa # 78669. See more »


Victor's Mother: Et alors moi, ta mère, j'aurais pas le droit d'avoir une belle histoire de cul?
[And so I, your mother, should not be allowed to have a beautiful sex affair?]
See more »


"Musique Trio no 3 en ut mineur
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Sonia Wieder-Atherton, Daria Hovora and Claude Mollet
See more »

User Reviews

crisis, what crisis?
11 March 2007 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

On the same day, Victor (Vincent Lindon) loses both his wife and a very lucrative job in his firm. Miserable and hopeless he's looking for his friends and family in the country to tell his personal turmoil and hoping to find some relief. But he only receives indifference or misunderstanding. Only a little man Michou (Patrick Timsit) is his confident and seems to be the key to solve Victor's inner trouble.

Coline Serreau is known and even celebrated in France for her popular comedy "Trois Hommes et Un Couffin" (1985) with which she scored a big hit so much so that an American remake followed a couple of years later. Its follow-up, "Romuald et Juliette" (1989) didn't have as much impact. With "la Crise", she pored over the mood of French society at the dawn of the nineties and it's a rather gloomy one. Her film could walk a fine line with works such as Gérard Jugnot's "une Epoque Formidable" (1991). In this film, Jugnot favored laughter to assess a French society driven by financial laws and having lost human values.

Coline Serreau takes back these observations and on a frenetic pace, she also relies on a sharp analysis of French society tangled up in stress and absence of communication but also politics eaten up by dishonesty and bribery. Her methodology to keep smiles on the viewer's face is shrewd: every time Victor meets someone and starts to tell him about his devilish day, he can't finish his story because his friends and family are amid their own problems and it's the opportunity for them to lay their souls bare and to express their formidable honesty and thoughts about who they really are or think. This method works but has also its evident limits in the sense that it makes the film a little monotonous and breathless by moments. But overall, Coline Serreau pulls it off with gusto to make us laugh of our woes.

"La Crise" was nominated in several categories at the César awards ceremony in 1993 including Best Female Supporting Roles for Maria Pacôme and Zabou and it's a shame that they didn't catch it. The first one has only 15-20 minutes of appearance while the second one has about half an hour of presence on the screen but one clearly remembers their shows in which they demand to live their lives their own ways. In counterpart, the film garnered the César for the Best Scenario and I have my doubts about it because if Serreau's work is formidable but a little dull in its humorist conception, things go wrong in the last half hour when she adopts a conventional, cozy tone with an acceptation of naive solutions. It throws the film a little off balance and loses a part of its strength.

See it anyway, its several ferociously funny moments make it worthwhile and fifteen years later, the thrust of "la Crise" is still a topical one.

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Italy | France



Release Date:

2 December 1992 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Crisis-Go-'Round See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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