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308 Ratings

Life of Riley

Aimer, boire et chanter

Directed by Alain Resnais
France, 2014
  • French
  • English


In the English countryside, the life of three couples is disturbed by a character we shall constantly hear about but never see: the enigmatic George Riley.

Our take

The kind of film we don’t welcome: the last film by a beloved director. Alain Resnais, the man behind Hiroshima, mon amour and Last Year in Marienbad, finally left us with this, a colorful, joyfully artificial adaptation of a play by Alan Ayckbourn. Droll, moving, full of possibitilies.

Life of Riley Directed by Alain Resnais

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

2014 | 2 wins including: Alfred Bauer Award

One of the cinema’s most lighthearted and free-spirited farewells… Resnais’s cheerful artifice distills his characters’ lifetimes of regret, frustration, and pain into an elegant envoi; in a minute-long monologue delivered by Sabine Azéma—Resnais’s wife, now his widow—the director, famous for his manipulations of time, divulges the romantic secret at the core of his art.
August 30, 2017
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It’s facetious to assume that Resnais intended Life of Riley as any kind of capstone on his career, and therein lies its undeniable appeal as a farewell gesture — he never stopped enjoying a medium he’d long since mastered, and so was destined to go out on his own terms, no matter what. Exeunt, pursued by woodchuck.
March 05, 2015
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Much of the joy and beauty of the movie comes from letting the levels of contrivance fall into place, as with some Rube Goldberg contraption, creating a parallel abstract narrative to the more conventional semi-farcical one unfolding on screen.
October 24, 2014
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