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- Interview with film critic Francois Thomas
- Original theatrical trailer
Top Customer Reviews
The first time I saw "Muriel" (it was, for years, extremely hard to find on video and only one video store carried it even in movie mecca L.A.) I was completely confounded by it. The radical presentation of the ordinary characters in the context of their transcendent thoughts and memories seemed to be uninteresting and bland (probably because I hadn't thought of its connections to the universal). I didn't think it warranted any closer attention. But I knew there was something there I was uncomfortable with, a deeper aspect I wasn't picking up. I knew that great films sometimes take a while before they reveal themselves and that I had to come back sometime and reassess it.
After reading a deeply insightful old article from "Cahiers du Cinema" called "The Misfortunes of Muriel" in which Jacques Rivette and a group of other French critics praise this film to the skies and also Truffaut's little piece about it in his book "The Films in My Life," I decided to give it another try.
To say that I'm glad I took the time to make that reassessment is an understatment because this is such an amazingly satisfying film, that once all the pieces of the puzzle come togeher in your head in all their subtle details, THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO COMPARE. You almost feel like you've just seen the birth of cinema.Read more ›
Muriel of the title is dead by the time the movie begins, the victim of torture by the French soldiers during the occupation of Algeria. One of the soldiers, Bernard, is back in France living with his step-mother, Helene (Delphine Seyrig) in the province city Boulogne and hunted by the memories of war and Muriel. Helen deals with her own past and memories of Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Kérien), an ex-lover who comes from Paris to visit her in the company of his new 20-years-old girlfriend, Françoise (Nita Klein)
The story which Resnais tells is simple and the trailer for the movie gives a viewer a very good idea of what they are about to see: The Past. The present. The future - is it possible? Uncertainty. Suspicions. Lies. Four main characters, Helene, Alphonse, Bertrand, and Françoise are in search of what they are. There will be secrets and confessions. Is that time to love? The main theme of the film is reality vs. memory of it. Can we always trust ourselves with what we remember? Does our memory reflect the events the way they really happened or our vision of them is altered as time passes and new realities inevitably enter our lives?
What makes "Muriel" unique after all these years is the way the director presents the journey into the past of his characters, how they see it, and how it affects their present lives and the possibility (or rather impossibility) of love and happiness.Read more ›
Seyrig's acting tour de force is hampered somewhat by the most obvious and bothersome flaw of this film -- poor supporting acting almost across the board. Hélène's traumatized son, Bernard (Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée), is probably the worst acted role in the film. Almost as poorly portrayed is Hélène's one time love interest who has come to visit her, Alphonse Noyard (Jean-Pierre Kérien). So in short, if one can tolerate some poor acting then the rest of Muriel, or The Time of Return has quite a lot to offer: ingenious editing, a convoluted but meaningful plot, and above all, an interesting examination of the trauma of war, the banality of everyday life, and the nostalgia of lost love and what could have been.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have seen "Muriel" many times and continue to be awed by its ambiance, its exploration of secrets, and its fantastic soundtrack. Read morePublished on July 26, 2010 by Stephen C. Bird
The screenplay for Alain Resnais's "Muriel"(1963) was being worked on around the same time as his film "Last Year at Marienbad"(1961), though the movie was to come out a couple of... Read morePublished on March 31, 2010 by G. Edmonson
MURIEL, the film Alan Resnais made after LAST YEAR IN MARIENBAD, is an even more complex exploration of time and memory, but unlike it's predecessor, whose surrealistic canvas... Read morePublished on April 12, 2009 by JfromJersey
Un homme et une femme se retrouvent. Ils furent amants, ils eurent une liaison, ils s'en souviennent, ils l'évoquent ensemble. Read morePublished on February 25, 2009 by Mr. Daniel Zehnacker
Muriel is a complex and strong movie that touches upon several themes like alienation, memory and identity, and it is considered part of the french new wave. Read morePublished on July 23, 2008 by MarkusG
I was entranced by Last Year at Marienbad when it came out and was a huge fan of the Nouvelle Vague when it washed up on our shores, too. Read morePublished on September 26, 2007 by Promise
It is a kind of movie you have to watch very carefully.The characters are difficult to personalize. Delphine Seyrig trying to come back to a past far away, but not forgotten,a... Read morePublished on July 2, 2007 by Avedis Arturo Yeramian
Made in the wake of his masterful "Last Year at Marienbad"(sadly not yet on DVD), Resnais's cinematic puzzle concerns memory, regret, self-identity, and the psychological effects... Read morePublished on June 28, 2007 by John Farr