With Life is a Bed of Roses, filmmaker Alain Resnais wanted to create a lighthearted tribute to three important French directors, each of whom defined a particular era in his country’s cinema Melies, the impressionist L’Herbier and Rohmer.
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A wonderful movie, truly one of Renais' finest. It's called La vie est un roman (which is a far cry from Life is a Bed of Roses). The wry, going-God-knows-where manic invention that came to define Renais' best later works (and was already present in the absolutely stunning Mon oncle d'Amérique) finds its most fanciful expression here. Ultimately it is a scathing comedy about socialization and botched control.
A very strange film; Resnais has always concealed film criticism within his work, but here he pushes it to the forefront, paying homage to three great French directors (Melies, L'Herbier, and Rohmer), separated by two world wars... If it is not one of Resnais's best it may be because of a certain under-budgeted over-reach, and the sad fact that Vierny wasn't cinematographer. Still, eccentric treasures here...
Film d'une extrême densité, nécessitant plusieurs lectures parallèles, ayant pour thème central la notion de bonheur et baigné d'un constant humour, où se côtoient l'ironie mordante et le pessimisme serein... www.cinefiches.com