Vie est un Roman, La (1983)

Original Title : Vie est un roman, La
Director : Alain Resnais
Writer : Jean Gruault
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Philippe Dussart
Music : M. Philippe-Gérard
Photography : Bruno Nuytten
IMDB ID : 0086542
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poster for "Vie est un Roman, La" by Alain Resnais (1983)
Vie est un Roman, La (1983) - Alain Resnais


Vittorio Gassman Walter Guarini
Ruggero Raimondi Comte Michel Forbek/Count Michel Forbek
Geraldine Chaplin Nora Winkle
Fanny Ardant Livia Cerasquier
Pierre Arditi Robert Dufresne
Sabine Azéma Élisabeth Rousseau
Robert Manuel I
Martine Kelly Claudine Obertin
Samson Fainsilber Zoltán Forbek
Véronique Silver Nathalie Holberg
André Dussollier Raoul Vandamme
Guillaume Boisseau Frédéric
Sabine Thomas Marie
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu School Teacher
Rodolphe Schacher Pierre
Jean-Claude Arnaud Le conducteur de la camionnette
Lucienne Hamon Juliette Watelet
Jean-Louis Richard Pére Jean Watelet
Hélène Patarot Thi Lan
Flavie Ducorps La fille de Nora Winkle
Jean-Claude Corbel Le héros légendaire
Jean-Michel Dupuis I
Michel Muller III
Philippe Laudenbach L'éducateur ennemi de la rêverie gratuite
Cathy Berberian La nourrice
Nathalie Holberg Véronique


Three intertwined tales. On the eve of the First World War, Count Forbek starts to build a fantastic castle in the Ardennes forest. After the war he uses it to start a utopian society by brainwashing his friends, including his former fiancee, Livia, and her husband. In the present day, the castle is being used as an alternative school and, in the summer holidays, for an educational conference. At the conference, the American Nora Winkle bets Claudine that the ernest public school teacher Elisabeth Rousseau will be enticed into the bed of Robert Dufresne, even though the principal speaker, Walter Guarini, is obviously interested in Elisabeth. Meanwhile, the children staying at the castle over the holidays invent their own medieval tale about freeing prisoners from the dungeons.


Having seen this film only once, in 1983 during its initial NYC engagement, I can resonantly advise anyone lucky enough to get the chance: prepare for elegant effervescence. The score by itself is unforgettable -- giddy, but it'll haunt you.