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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
A Nos Amours
Directed by Maurice Pialat
Image Entertainment, Inc. 1984 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Maurice Pialat's A Nos Amours (France), co-winner of the Cesar (France's Oscar) for Best Picture of 1983, is a cogent movie about the subtle ways a troubled family warps a young girl's passage into adulthood. The drama is animated by two top-drawer performances. Sandrine Bonnaire as Suzanne is a promiscuous 15-year-old who uses her erotic magnetism as a means to work out her love/hate relations with her family. Director Maurice Pialat plays her father a frustrated middle-aged man whose marriage is on the rocks. When he moves out, it is partly to escape his attraction to Suzanne. The man is tormented, and like most of the other characters in this powerful movie, he doesn't really understand his erotic impulses.
A Nos Amours concludes with Suzanne firmly rejecting the boy who loves her and then leaving her new husband to go to America with another man. Her father tells her sadly that she's never learned the difference between loving and needing to be loved. She responds "Everyone's like that." Whereas most American films about promiscuous youth tend to deal in adolescent stereotypes and moral bromides, this French film is razor sharp in defining the interplay between Suzanne's fear of intimacy and her family's mixed messages about love and sex.
DVD special features include interviews with director Maurice Pialet, cinematographer Jacques Loiseleux, and actor Sandrine Bonnaire; and a 1999 documentary "The Human Eye" about the film.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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