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Life Is a Bed of Roses (La Vie Est Un Roman) (1983) (1983)

Geraldine Chaplin , Vittorio Gassman , Alain Resnais  |  Unrated |  DVD
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Geraldine Chaplin, Vittorio Gassman, Fanny Ardant, Sabine Azema
  • Directors: Alain Resnais
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: KINO VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011367QG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,565 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


Life Is a Bed of Roses exists on three levels, each of a deliberate - and at times quite delightful - eccentricity --Janet Maslin, THE NEW YORK TIMES

Product Description

Alain Resnais pays tribute to three influential French filmmakers Georges Melies, Marcel L Herbier and Eric Rohmer with this lighthearted film about happiness and the power of the imagination. Life Is a Bed of Roses is divided into three parallel narratives. The first section is set around the first decade of the twentieth century in the Ardennes, where Count Forbeck (Ruggero Raimondi) unveils his architect s designs for a utopian city. In a modern day mirroring of this story, a group of professors now inhabiting Forbeck s castle seek a new form of education through the use of the imagination, under the guidance of a guru named Guarini (Vittorio Gassman Big Deal on Madonna Street, Sharky s Machine). The third segment depicts a Wagnerian fantasy landscape of kings and dragons, which arises from the imagination of the children of some of the professors at the school. With ingenuity and great craftsmanship, Resnais weaves together these three threads to make Life Is a Bed of Roses a compelling and entertaining mixture of drama, satire, comedy, fantasy and music.

Customer Reviews

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another difficult but worthwhile Resnais film March 24, 2008
By Tim
First off, the commonly accepted translation of the title seems to be bad-It should more properly be called Life is a Fairy Tale. This film explores two main themes. The first theme involves the idea that people never really grow up-they continue to be self centered children with unrealistic views of the world. The other theme is that no individual can be happy unless some other individual is miserable. These themes are explored in typical Resnais fashion-which is to say, in a way that is in turns brilliant and confusing. Naturally, the narrative is not straightforward, rather, it is broken into two main threads and a third crucial but brief one.

The most bizarre (and off putting) thing about this film is the singing-occasionally, a character will suddenly begin singing instead of talking. The other characters tend to respond with normal dialogue as if nothing unusual was going on. This lends a sort of surreal feeling to the already odd mood of the film. According to the special features of the DVD of this, Resnais feels that it is easier to move the story along if his characters sing instead of conversing.

I've only seen this film once, but I feel that I should see it again soon. Resnais films always reward multiple viewings and I doubt this is the exception.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It was tacky and irritating... It could have only been done in the early 80s and in France... The only redeeming quality was Fanny Ardant... At that point of her life she was one of the most beautiful & attractive women ever... What was in Resnais' mind?... I watched this the day after I experienced 'Love onto Death' which I thought was a great meditation on life and death... If you want to witness what a medicore foreign film looks like, please download Life is a Bed of Roses... Avoid paying anything (like I did) to get this one...
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Immensely disappointing March 15, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I waited months and months for this to become available. Finally it arrived in the mail. I was ecstatic. And then I played the DVD. I was crestfallen. It barely seemed like the movie about which I'd read. The tone was in some very unsatisfying region between realism and fantasy, never quite enough of one or the other to please. The occasional spurts of ideology were presented as though the author had never encountered anyone of a differing point of view. It seems like an anachronism now.
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