|CESAR & ROSALIE (director/writer: Claude Sautet; screenwriters: Claude Neron/Jean-Loup Dabadie; cinematographer: Jean Boffety; editor: Jacqueline Thiedot; music: Philippe Sarde; cast: Sami Frey (David), Yves Montand (Cesar), Romy Schneider (Rosalie), Bernard Le Coq (Michel), Eva-Maria Meineke (Lucie Artigues), Jacques Dhéry (Henri), Henri-Jacques Huet (Marcel), Isabelle Huppert (Marite), Betty Beckers (Madeleine), Gisella Hahn (Carla), Umberto Orsine (Antoine), Herve Sand (Georges), Carlo Nell (Jerome), Carole Lixon (Louise), Henri Coutet (Fantin), Céline Galland (Catherine); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Michelle De Broca; Wellspring; 1972-France-in French with English subtitles)|
|"The respected filmmaker delivers
a clever and observant romantic drama that
serves as a study on how the bourgeoisie
operate behind middle-class conventions."
by Dennis Schwartz
the first international success of French
writer-director Claude Sautet ("Nelly
and Monsieur"/"Mado"/"Un Coeur en Hiver") the
respected filmmaker delivers a clever, slick and
observant romantic drama that serves as a study on how
the bourgeoisie operate behind
middle-class conventions. It's co-written by Claude
Neron and Jean-Loup Dabadie, who keep its romantic
triangle story old hat. What gives it life is
the lively but stagy performance by Yves Montand, and
the charming turns by Sami Frey and Romy Schneider.
(Romy Schneider) is the young divorced
single mom and live-in mistress of the middle-aged
self-made wealthy scrap-metal businessman Cesar (Yves
Montand), who runs a thriving lucrative business in
Paris with his brothers Henri (Jacques Dhéry)
and Marcel (Henri-Jacques Huet).
Rosalie's love for Cesar is tested when her old flame,
a comic strip artist, David (Sami Frey), a friend of
her ex-husband Antoine (Umberto Orsine),
returns to Paris after abroad in America for the last
five years and declares his love for her.
Rosalie is drawn to the seductive soft-spoken David,
Cesar, the volatile man's man, loving the good life
such as poker games, Cuban cigars and haute-cuisine,
acts foolishly jealous while the confused Rosalie
wavers back and forth as to which lover to choose.
Despite their intense rivalry the men, both successful
in their careers, become friends and try to get around
the uneasy situation of the ménage-á-trois
and find themselves dealing with several foolish
incidents. It has a disappointing inconclusive
ending, where Rosalie leaves both with her 4-year-old
daughter (Céline Galland) in tow
and when she returns might now be ready to make a
I found the pleasant story too much like a soap opera, too polished and too meandering for my liking, but it's wryly amusing and the three stars elevate their fashionable characters into portrayals of real-life people that merit our attention. It's the kind of genre film the French seem to do better than others, and in American hands this pic would have probably bombed.
REVIEWED ON 6/13/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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