© Arsenal/Central

Herzen (Coeurs)
France/Italy 2006

Opening 29 Mar 2007

Directed by: Alain Resnais
Writing credits: Alan Ayckbourn, Jean-Michel Ribes
Principal actors: Sabine Azéma, Lambert Wilson, André Dussollier, Pierre Arditi, Laura Morante

With this French-Italian film Alain Resnais won the Silver Lion for best director at the 2006 Venice film festival. Scriptwriter Jean-Michel Ribes moved his adaptation of Alan Ayckborn’s Private Fears in Public Places from London to Paris. This story is different from Ayckborn’s usually light and entertaining plays. It has a more serious and heavy mood, which is emphasized by the continuously falling snow. Nicole (Laura Morante) and Dan (Lambert Wilson) are looking for a larger apartment which includes a study. Thierry (André Dussolier) patiently offers them one place after another. Young Dan, dishonourably dismissed from the army, is unemployed. It is difficult to understand why he needs that extra room. Tension builds up between him and Nicole.

A tension of another kind develops between Thierry and his colleague Charlotte (Sabine Azéma). She has lent him a video, which starts off with a religious programme and ends with an exciting surprise for Thierry, who shares his lonely life with his sister Gaelle (Isabelle Carré). Every night she sits in a restaurant, reading and waiting – with a bright red carnation pinned to her lapel. One day Dan turns up and her life takes a turbulent turn. Dan usually hangs out at an upper-class hotel making a nuisance of himself and drinking until bar keeper Lionel (Pierre Arditi) turns off the lights. At home Lionel has to cope with his bed-ridden, complaining old father. Charlotte helps out temporarily. One evening she has an ingenious idea to cope with the insufferable, insulting old man. (Birgit Schrumpf)

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