A delicious comedy splendidly played by veteran actors and actresses. Sabine Azema, Hippolyte Girardot, Caroline Silhol are sublime. Andre Dussolier has not much role to play unfortunately. All remain in splendid form. The mood of the film is light and the timing perfect. The missing characters, the off screen spaces, are evoked, juxtaposed in a playful manner in the closed theatre space. I did enjoy the film.
Great set and visual ideas for this very last film of the great Resnais. This will surely remind you "Smoking/No Smoking" or even " Le chant du Styrene". It is all fake, theatre, plastic, artefact, green screen, acting. But emotions fight their way against this obvious artificiality and Resnais wins in all in the end. A last film between friends. A last attempt at experimenting another stage-like cinema.
Puzzling... not particularly cinematic. The play was amusing, light material. The one thing that makes it poignant (perhaps) is that it was Resnais' last film and the central (but always absent) character Riley is supposedly dying. (Though in the end, his death is an accident.) The sets were a bit strange and I did like some of the music.
While beautiful and inventive, Resnais has hard time lifting the banality to the fanciful in the same charming manner of a Bunuel, Fellini or a Hitchcock. Age gave him an understanding of just how long he could make standard soap opera stuff sparkle differently enough to engage--this is a work on the lines of Hitchcock's Family Plot. Great in its construction and thedeep charm that comes with human understanding.
What Renais was working toward in much of his later work was a kind of reification of the artificial. This is done not only for the sake of purity. This is done not at all for the purposes of abstraction. It is about life (and death). There is a philosophy at work here. The world itself is a curious morass of questionable repute, Resnais seems to insist, and we are dreaming our way through it. Reality isn't serious.
(Generous) 7 - I can't help being both touched and somewhat impressed by Resnais' mocking yet buoyant preemptive self-eulogy, as well as by his clever use of the mise-en-scéne to reinforce the miscommunication and isolation felt by his characters. Unfortunately, while the film really comes into its own at the end, the dull dialogue and lack of narrative heft in the first half knocked the experience down a peg for me.
Made me think that the older we get, the simpler life SHOULD be, but that's not always the case. Smug, comfortable, middle classes fighting against the tide of ageing, still making youthful, irrational, mistakes. Is life something we live or try to navigate with its random experiences and muddled logic? I don't know why but the whole film just made me feel... comfortable. Brilliant swansong!
Alain Resnais final film is a beautiful blending of Film and Theatre.For the first 30 minutes, I wasn't sure whether I was going to like the film or not.However,as the story developed and we learnt more about the characters ,especially the Godot like George.I found myself asking one of the main questions of the film.Are our memories and judgements of the people around us,as correct as we believe?How Resnais is that!