With his raw style of filmmaking, Maurice Pialat has been called the John Cassavetes of French cinema, and the scorching À nos amours is one of his greatest achievements. In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father (played with astonishing magnetism by Pialat himself), ineffectual mother, and brutish brother. A tender character study that can erupt in startling violence, À nos amours is one of the high-water marks of eighties French cinema. —The Criterion Collection
Once described as the true heir to Jean Renoir’s legacy, French filmmaker Maurice Pialat is noted for his brutal, insightful portraits of the less savory aspects of family life and French society, as well as for his ability to evoke unusually powerful and realistic performances from his actors regardless of their professional status. Pialat, who is known as one of his country’s more “difficult” directors due to both his subject matter and on-set clashes, was born in Puy-de-Dôme but raised in Paris after the age of three. He started out as a painter and jack-of-all-trades and did sporadic work as an actor. In the late ’50s, Pialat became fascinated with cinema, and he got his start making short films, notably Amour Existe (1961), which won a prize at the Venice Festival.
After spending much of the ‘60s working in French television, Pialat made his feature-film debut in 1968 with Naked Childhood, a cinema verité-style drama utilizing nonprofessional actors. A study… read more
Finally got around to this one. Sandrine Bonnaire shines and magnetically pulls us into the story, but the film was equally frustrating and fascinating to me. I will need to let it sink in of course, but as of now the uneven performances and the not so subtle elliptical choices removed me from sufficient emotional investment. As a result, I wasn't able to care as much for Bonnaire's character as I wished to.
The critic and filmmaker talks his wonderful new film, which opens in New York on March 1.
An end-of-2011 celebration not of new films but of old films revived and seen throughout the year. Ozu, Marilyn Monroe, Raoul Walsh, oh my!
In addition to its brilliant edition of Sous le soleil de Satan, March also sees Eureka!/MOC relelasing Pialat's À nos amours, which is perhaps
Co-winner of the César (the French Oscar) for Best Picture of 1983. That’s no guarantee of excellence.
A Bit of Plot…
Adolescent Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire, Monsieur Hire… read review