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Cesar & Rosalie

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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(Feb 04, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

In American romantic comedies, after overcoming some silly obstacle, the heroine will choose this guy or that one, and it's usually pretty obvious which. In French romantic comedies, not only is either guy just as likely, but the heroine could just as well end up with both of them--or neither. Ah, the worldly French! César and Rosalie are a happy May-December couple (young Romy Schneider and middle-aged Yves Montand) until the return of Rosalie's old flame David (Sami Frey). David immediately inflames the insecure César with jealousy, to the point that his aggressive behavior threatens his relationship with Rosalie far more than David himself does. The story of César & Rosalie takes unpredictable turns, but every shift is compelling because of how truthfully written and acted the characters are. The French don't need to invent silly obstacles to romance; they understand that human nature itself is obstacle enough. --Bret Fetzer

From the Back Cover

Claude Sautet's (Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud, Un Coeur en Hiver) romantic comedy follows Rosalie (Romy Schneider), a divorcee who is happily involved with Cesar (Yves Montand), an older man. Their relationship takes a sudden turn when David (Sami Frey), Rosalie's old flame, shows up determined to win her back. After years of changing dynamics between the three, Rosalie is finally forced to question her feelings toward both men and make the ultimate decision.

Special Features

  • Director biography

Product Details

  • Actors: Yves Montand, Romy Schneider, Sami Frey, Bernard Le Coq, Eva Maria Meineke
  • Directors: Claude Sautet
  • Writers: Claude Sautet, Claude Néron, Jean-Loup Dabadie
  • Producers: Michelle de Broca, Willi Benninger
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: February 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KK1I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cesar & Rosalie" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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That's indicative, I guess, of the overwhelming popularity of Claude Sautet's *Cesar and Rosalie*. No matter -- it's still one of the most plausible "love-triangle" movies ever made. There are many reasons for this, starting with Sautet's refusal to be just another New Wave-wannabe. A good plan, considering that by 1972 the movement had run its natural course, anyway. There are no jump-cuts here; no socio-political commentary; no stylistic flourishes. Although *Cesar and Rosalie* ranks as an "auteur" film, technically speaking (i.e., by its virtue of being written and directed by one man), the director makes a big point of not investing it with "personality" or trademark tics which we can point to. With this film, Sautet announced his ongoing obsession with the unsatisfied bourgeoisie, an obsession that typically manifested itself in the form of a May-December romance. This movie is no different: here we have Yves Montand as a middle-aged wealthy dealer in car parts, and the lovely Romy Schneider as his live-in partner. Schneider's Rosalie is a free spirit in the Sixties vein, but she's no ingenue: she's been around the block a time or two. Around 30, she has a young daughter from a previous marriage, and is confident enough to be of some considerable help to Montand's Cesar with his auto business. She's wise enough to not put up with Cesar's fussy nonsense. Enter David (well-played by Sami Frey), an old flame -- though NOT the father of her kid -- who is determined to win her back. With this fairly predictable set-up, Sautet proceeds to frustrate our expectations and surprise us at almost every turn, making for an engrossing viewing experience. All three of the principles are excellent. Schneider was always at her best in Sautet's films. . . .Read more ›
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Claude Sautet is one of the lesser known French directors in the United States, but he made a number of wonderful dramas about romantic relationships that are hard to find on DVD (two of his last films found an audience in the U.S.--Un Coeur en Hiver and Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud). Cesar and Rosalie is one of his best with memorable performances by Yves Montand, Sami Frey, and the extraordinary Romy Schneider. The love triangle in this film is unpredicatable and touching. Another Sautet film that should be released is Vincent Francois Paul and the Others, which is a melancholy ode to love and friendship.
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Cesar et Rosalie is from the days when Claude Sautet still set his films in a wider world before retreating into chamber pieces set in enclosed universes (the bookshop of Un Mauvais Fils, the apartment of Nelly et Monsieur Annaud, the hotel room and junkyard of Max et les Ferraleurs). Here he's still embracing a wider canvas of characters and everyday locations, with a strong visual sense of location (the long grass of a field is beautiful), and it gives this romantic trifle a breath of fresh air and life that the material doesn't always deserve. But what really makes the film work is Yves Montand's outstanding performance, one of his very best, turning what could easily have been a larger than life stereotype into something flesh and blood and all too believable as everything he tries to prevent lover Romy Schneider (also excellent here) from returning of Sami Frey only drives her into his arms. There's a real vulnerability beneath the bravado: his reactions in the scene where Frey casually tells him he still loves Schneider are an amazing mix of conflicting emotions he can't quite hide.

The film paints itself into a corner by the end, with a particularly unsatisfying conclusion that would probably have worked a little better had the film ended a minute earlier, but it's still a surprisingly vital little movie.

The Region 1 NTSC DVD offers an acceptable but not outstanding widescreen transfer. The only extras are trailers for The Last Metro, Stolen Kisses and Z.
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Released in 1972, this movie is a classic period piece of French cinema. Fascinated with the concept of "menage a trois", the three main characters Cesar (Yves Montand), Rosalie (Romy Schneider), and David (Sami Frey) are interestedly developed and acted perfectly as members of a love triangle. The french male-female dynamic on the eve of "women's lib" gives another interesting twist to the movie. It goes beyond the "wimsey" of the movie "Jules et Jim". I highly recommend this movie to anyone interested in exploring French cinema.
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