Mon Oncle D’Amerique (1980)

ALAIN RESNAIS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

France, 1980.  , , , , , , , , , , , , , .  Screenplay by , based on the writings of .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1980.  Cannes Film Festival 1980New York Film Critics Awards 1980.  

Leave it to experimental filmmaker Alain Resnais to not only film an interview with behavioural scientist Henri Laborit but to create a narrative out of its principles. It concerns the lives of three individuals, two men and one woman, of varying backgrounds and ambitions. Gerard Depardieu plays a strictly Catholic-raised farmboy who becomes the manager of a textile company and must face his fears when the company decides to downsize.   is a politician who turns to writing when his political career hits a standstill, leaves his wife and shacks up with a successful actress () who turns out to be more than he can handle. The paths that these three characters take, and their crossing over, is a fascinating, gorgeous examination of the human condition that is very intellectual and yet never feels dry or pretentious. Resnais shows a lot of vigour and strength in his direction twenty-one years after his stunning feature debut with Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and the camerawork and performances are up to the highest standard. The screenplay is even better.

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